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Hurns was part of a big Jaguars first quarter

Hurns was part of a big Jaguars first quarter

Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns led all players in the preseason with 232 receiving yards. The 6’3, 195 receiver had a breakout senior year with Miami(FL) — in fact, he set a school record for receiving yards in a season — but that was not enough to get him selected in May’s draft.

We know that the Jaguars spent some time watching tape of the Miami offense, since Jacksonville used a third round pick on Hurricanes guard Brandon Linder. Perhaps that tipped them off to Hurns, who provided immediate returns in week one. What sort of returns?

  • Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles in week one. Prior to the Calvin Johnson explosion on Monday night, those numbers put Hurns tied for fifth in the league in receiving yards, and tied for second in receiving touchdowns.
  • Hurns became just the 5th player since 1970 to hit the 100-yard receiving mark and catch two touchdowns in week one of his rookie season.
  • Hurns produced the 2nd best performance by an undrafted rookie wide receiver in a season opener since the merger.

The table below shows the top 25 week one stat lines by an undrafted rookie receiver.1 I’ve sorted the table by fantasy points, giving each receiver 0.5 points per reception, 1 point per 10 yards receiving, and 6 points for every receiving touchdown. By this metric, the only undrafted rookie with a better performance in week one since 1970 was former Giant Bobby Johnson thirty years ago.

1Bobby Johnson1984NYGPHIBoxscore8137229.7
2Allen Hurns2014JAXPHIBoxscore4110225
3Doug Baldwin2011SEASFOBoxscore483116.3
4Andre Brown1989MIABUFBoxscore458113.8
5Rod Barksdale1986RAIDENBoxscore265113.5
6Jack Dolbin1975DENKANBoxscore251112.1
7Oronde Gadsden1998MIAINDBoxscore144110.9
8Will Moore1995NWECLEBoxscore677010.7
9Rod Streater2012OAKSDGBoxscore427110.7
10Al Barnes1972DETNYGBoxscore22419.4
11Ralph Nelson1975WASNORBoxscore12719.2
12Ben Utecht2005INDBALBoxscore12619.1
13Arthur Marshall1992DENRAIBoxscore37208.7
14Bruce Perkins1990TAMDETBoxscore1817.3
15Jim Gustafson1986MINDETBoxscore1517
16Oscar McBride1995ARIWASBoxscore1316.8
17Randy Grossman1974PITBALBoxscore35206.7
18Calvin Magee1985TAMCHIBoxscore1116.6
19Josh Norman2002SDGCINBoxscore1116.6
20Marcellus Rivers2001NYGDENBoxscore1116.6
21Wayne Chrebet1995NYJMIABoxscore34305.8
22Ron Heller1987SFOPITBoxscore24005
23Jeff Alexander1989DENKANBoxscore33505
24Mike Tolbert2008SDGCARBoxscore33505
25Mike Bell2006DENSTLBoxscore43005

Even if we include all drafted receivers, Hurns’ performance still stands out as historically excellent. As regular readers know, Anquan Boldin set the standard when it comes to week 1 rookie wide receiver performances. But Hurns checks in with the 6th best performance of any rookie receiver since 1970 in week one.2

1Anquan Boldin2003ARIDETBoxscore10217238.7
2Louis Lipps1984PITKANBoxscore6183233.3
3Bobby Johnson1984NYGPHIBoxscore8137229.7
4Eddie Royal2008DENOAKBoxscore9146125.1
5Mike Siani1972OAKPITBoxscore4111225.1
6Allen Hurns2014JAXPHIBoxscore4110225
7Charlie Brown1982WASPHIBoxscore597224.2
8Randy Moss1998MINTAMBoxscore495223.5
9Stephen Hill2012NYJBUFBoxscore589223.4
10Rick Upchurch1975DENKANBoxscore3153122.8
11Ken Burrow1971ATLSFOBoxscore367220.2
12Kelvin Benjamin2014CARTAMBoxscore692118.2
13John Jefferson1978SDGSEABoxscore345218
14Charles Rogers2003DETARIBoxscore438217.8
15Marvin Harrison1996INDARIBoxscore685117.5
16Alex Smith2005TAMMINBoxscore434217.4
17JaJuan Dawson2000CLEJAXBoxscore683117.3
18Deion Branch2002NWEPITBoxscore683117.3
19Brandin Cooks2014NORATLBoxscore777117.2
20Louis Murphy2009OAKSDGBoxscore487116.7
21Lynn Swann1974PITBALBoxscore294116.4
22Doug Baldwin2011SEASFOBoxscore483116.3
23Curt Warner1983SEAKANBoxscore672116.2
24Kelvin Bryant1986WASPHIBoxscore476115.6
25Alshon Jeffery2012CHIINDBoxscore380115.5
26Lawrence Dawsey1991TAMNYJBoxscore284115.4
27Randy McMichael2002MIADETBoxscore473115.3
28Freddie Jones1997SDGNWEBoxscore473115.3
29Stephen Starring1983NWEBALBoxscore281115.1
30Calvin Johnson2007DETOAKBoxscore470115
31Walter White1975KANDENBoxscore279114.9
32Ron Shanklin1970PITHOUBoxscore373114.8
33Michael Irvin1988DALPITBoxscore373114.8
34Sammy White1976MINNORBoxscore371114.6
35Glyn Milburn1993DENNYJBoxscore275114.5
36Donte' Stallworth2002NORTAMBoxscore463114.3
37Chuck Foreman1973MINOAKBoxscore653114.3
38Mark Carrier1987TAMATLBoxscore650114
39Andre Brown1989MIABUFBoxscore458113.8
40DeSean Jackson2008PHISTLBoxscore6106013.6
41Bubba Bean1976ATLRAMBoxscore361113.6
42Javon Walker2002GNBATLBoxscore456113.6
43Rod Barksdale1986RAIDENBoxscore265113.5
44Jay Riemersma1997BUFMINBoxscore454113.4
45Lindsay Scott1982NORSTLBoxscore6103013.3
46Tony Martin1990MIANWEBoxscore357113.2
47Ron Morris1987CHINYGBoxscore261113.1
48Pat Tilley1976STLSEABoxscore356113.1
49Johnny Johnson1990PHOWASBoxscore699012.9
50Marques Colston2006NORCLEBoxscore449112.9

You might notice that Hurns wasn’t the only rookie receiver on that list. The 2014 receiver class was hyped as one of the best ever, and that didn’t even include Hurns. Two first round picks, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks, also had big performances in week one. Benjamin’s touchdown proved to be the difference maker for Carolina, while Cooks finished second on the team in yards3

A great week one doesn’t mean much, but it’s fun being able to put Hurns’ day into some historical context.

  1. Technically, I’ve included all players who gain receiving yards, not just receivers. []
  2. I’m not quite sure if it’s more or less impressive that he did all of his work in the first quarter-and-a-half. []
  3. In addition to the receiving yards shown on the table above, Cooks also had a carry for 18 yards. []
  • When I saw this headline, I immediately thought about Eddie Royal. I immediately had arguments with people about him. I said that Cutler spent that entire game throwing wherever Nnamdi Asomugha wasn’t and the rest of Oakland’s secondary was so bad that I could get open against them, while seemingly all of the other Bronco fans were going nuts about Eddie Royal being the next great WR. That argument never really stopped, either.

  • sunrise089

    Off topic: Congrats on the Yahoo! Sports link Chase. One site comment – I visited the historical archive page via the desktop site for the first time today. I must admit to me the functionality has noticeably decreased. I no longer have the ability to quickly search every listing, and even once I pull up a specific month it’s then necessary to scroll to read everything. I’m sure there might be under the hood reasons for the change, but I just wanted to record my feedback if you’re taking a vote…

    • Chase Stuart

      Yes, I’m aware. I know it’s frustrating – hopefully things are fixed pretty soon.

      At the bottom of the page there is a search engine, and you can use google with some success, but I, to, miss the old archive page. I hope to get it back up soon. Annoying to have this transition period, I’m sure, but we’ll get things back soon.

    • Chase Stuart

      I’ve created a temporary archive page, which you can access here.


      Thanks for making me think of this.

      • Oh man, thank you.

        • Chase Stuart

          And now, thank goodness, the favicon is back!!

    • Chase Stuart

      The Archive is back!!

  • Damon

    Anquan Boldin may have set the statistical standard against a bad Lions team, but Randy Moss’ debut in 1998 was far more impactful and with a much greater degree of difficulty.

    The Vikings went from being a solid playoff team with a good offense to being the most explosive team in football/a Super Bowl contender in one half and did it against a team that won double digit games the year before, plus a playoff game and boasted two future Hall of Famers (Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks) on their defense. What other WR can say that?

  • It is pretty cool to see three guys crack the top 20 in one weekend. I’m not sure it tells us anything about this WR class, but it is an interesting anomaly.

    Also weird that 1984 has the #2 and #3 spot.