Advanced Stats – Explosive Receiver Index

There’s a certain problem with how the NCAA measures stats. That problem is this; there aren’t enough stats for guys like receivers and offensive linemen. Stats such as targets and dropped passes aren’t kept at all by the NCAA, and I’ve not been able to find a site that does keep them. So, most of the metrics that we traditionally measure a receiver, such as yards and receptions are volume statistics. It keeps track of how a receiver does during the course of a season.

But, there are several problems with volume stats. One, a team’s offense and tempo can cause a player to catch more balls that a player that plays in a more traditional, pro-style offense. Two, volume stats aren’t reliable in telling exactly how good a receiver is. And I probably haven’t even scratched the surface just yet.

However, I’ve come up with a stat called “Explosive Receiver Index”, or ERI for short. It basically measures how good a receiver is at breaking big plays and helping out his quarterback.

The formula for figuring out ERI is this . . .

1st down receptions * (.171) + 15+ yard receptions * (.206) + 25+ yard receptions * (.588) / Total Receptions

That gives you a percentage of “big plays” a receiver has over the course of a game. However, there is one problem with it. Targets aren’t factored in, just the reception number itself, which could cause the stat’s accuracy to be called into question.

Now, how do I actually get the “index number” itself? Simple. I take the percentage, and divide that by the NCAA average(23.4%). Multiply that number by 100, and then round up to the nearest whole number.

A ERI of 100 is considered average. ERI’s under 100 are considered below average, and ERI’s above 100 are above average.

I took a sampling of receivers from Big 6 and non-Big 6 conferences were involved.

Player ERI
Daniel Hardy – (Idaho) 152
Justin Blackmon – (Oklahoma State) 120
AJ Green – (Georgia) 120
Julio Jones – (Alabama) 116
Jeff Maehl – (Oregon) 110
Marquis Maze – (Alabama) 110
Darrell Davis – (NC State) 105
Rashad Lawrence – (Northwestern) 99
Erik Highsmith – (North Carolina) 94
Ryan Broyles – (Oklahoma) 91
Darius Reynolds – (Iowa State) 84
Joshua Adams – (North Carolina) 82

The surprising result is Ryan Broyles, the stud receiver from Oklahoma measuring in at only a 91, a below average rating. Daniel Hardy from Idaho showed to be the most explosive out of the sampling I took.

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