For the past few weeks, Pro Football Focus has been running some features that analyzed trends for specific players over a three-year period. In many of their posts, especially the ones that dealt with pass rushing or quarterbacks, Cleveland hasn't really had a player who would even qualify for the top rankings on the list, either because they weren't good enough, or they haven't logged three years in the NFL.
Their more recent articles dealt with dropped passes. "A-ha!" I thought -- surely some of our players would turn up in these posts. Mohamed Massaquoi is the only Browns receiver who I thought might have appeared in the wide receiver category, but he did not, probably because he hasn't had enough targets and hasn't dropped a ton of passes.
Tight end Benjamin Watson cracked the list for tight ends. Over the past three years, he has the sixth most drops (16) among tight ends. Watson has the 5th worst drop rate among tight ends -- he fails to hang on to 10.8% of catchable passes. It's not a cardinal sin for Watson, but in an ideal world, he'd have a drop rate closer to 4-6%, which is what the lowest dropped pass rates range from.
The Browns didn't have anyone eligible for the list at running back, but we can still count Peyton Hillis for the heck of it. Over the past three years, Hillis had the 4th best drop rate, missing only 3 passes out of 90 tries, or 3.3%. Only Pierre Thomas, Matt Forte, and Reggie Bush were better than Hillis. Will Trent Richardson's hands be as good as Hillis'? Can a guy like Jordan Cameron make a splash at tight end for the Browns this year but hanging onto the ball more consistently than Watson? We shall see.