On Tuesday, I looked at the fantastic rookie class of wide receivers that entered the NFL last year. But in that post, I focused on receiving yards; in fact, the group was even more incredible when it comes to receiving touchdowns.
Rookie wide receivers caught an astounding 92 touchdowns last year, highlighted by Odell Beckham and Mike Evans each snatching a dozen scores. In addition, Kelvin Benjamin (9), Martavis Bryant (8), Jordan Matthews (8), Sammy Watkins (6), Allen Hurns (6), John Brown (5) and Jarvis Landry (5) each caught at least five touchdowns.
Let’s put that number in perspective. Second-year wide receivers caught just 43 touchdowns last year, while third-year and fourth-year wideouts each caught 59 touchdowns. Players from the class of 2010 caught 72, the second highest amount of any class last year. Take a look:
Prior to 2014, the record for touchdowns by a rookie class of wide receivers1 was just 59, set in 2013. So the production by the 2014 class blows every other rookie class out of the water.
And here’s another way to think about it, while accounting for era. Wide receivers caught 485 touchdowns last year, which means that rookies were responsible for a whopping 19.0% of all touchdowns caught by a wide receiver in 2014. That’s the most by any rookie class in any year since at least the merger:
Even adjusting for the modern pass-happy environment, the way the rookie class dominated in 2014 stands out as truly remarkable.
- Excluding 1987. [↩]