February 29, 2008

2007 Unit Rankings: #7 WR

Duck Sports Authority begins its 2008 Spring Camp preparation with a final evaluation and ranking of the 2007 position units. Coming in at #7 in the unit rankings is Wide Receivers.

Season Unit Analysis: Wide Receivers

Summary Opinion: B- Wide receiver has the dubious distinction of having been the most injured unit in 2007. Brian Paysinger lasted four games and Cameron Colvin six, devastating this otherwise talented group. Jaison Williams became the primary target after Colvin's injury, and others like Aaron Pflugrad and Jeffrey Maehl were forced into action earlier than anticipated. Injuries to this unit were significant to the point of adjusting offensive play-calling to suit the less experienced personnel.

Key Players:

Jaison Williams - 55 catches, 844 yards, 8 TD's, 13 games
Garren Strong - 27 catches, 249 yards, 3 TD's, 13 games
Cameron Colvin - 20 catches, 248 yards, 2 TD's, 6 games
Derrick Jones - 19 catches, 199 yards, 2 TD's, 9 games
Aaron Pflugrad - 17 catches, 168 yards, 1 TD, 9 games
Brian Paysinger - 9 catches, 165 yards, 2 TD's, 4 games
Jeffrey Maehl - 9 catches, 118 yards, 1 TD, 13 games
Drew Davis - 3 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD, 10 games
Terence Scott - 2 catches, 4 yards, 5 games

Key Statistics:

Passing attempts: 413 (615 rushing attempts)
Completions: 244 (59.1% rate)
Average per catch: 11.5 yards
Average passing yards per game: 215.8 (251.7 average rushing)
TD's passing: 26 (32 rushing)
First downs passing: 133 (174 rushing)

Season Improvement Rating: Slight decline (-0.10) The decline is to be expected for two reasons: Injuries to Colvin and Paysinger then the injury to Dennis Dixon. Of all the positions, wide receiver had the second-steepest decline in game grades next to guess which…quarterback (-0.12). Robin Pflugrad is to be commended for maintaining the level of play as well as he did, particularly looking at the crucial and sudden integration of Maehl and Aaron Pflugrad into the offense. To illustrate the affect of Dixon's injury to this group, their average grade was 2.74 with Dixon, 1.92 without.

Best 2007 Game: Stanford The Ducks went down to Palo Alto 3-0 for a night game and the receivers went off. Cameron Colvin snagged eight catches for 136 yards and a TD, Jaison Williams added seven catches for 113 yards and two TD's, while Derrick Jones and Garren Strong contributed three catches each. The best part of this outstanding performance was that it was a group response to Brian Paysinger's injury.

Unit MVP: Jaison Williams Williams was the last starter standing at the end of the season, and would have had stiff competition from Paysinger and Colvin had they been able to finish. Jaison has all the skills to be a dominant player at this level and the next, if he can provide the consistency catching the ball in games that he shows in practice. His ability, heart and personal ethics will not be a question for 2008. Whether he regains the consistent confidence to relax and just let his ability take over in games will be.

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