Projecting DPJ (aka David Terrell 2.0)

Submitted by MGoStrength on August 20th, 2018 at 12:47 PM

We know our defense is outstanding and we know our offense needs improvement to have the sort of season we are hoping for.  The QB position seems like an upgrade with Patterson.  The RBs and TEs seem more than adequate.  The offensive line remains probably the biggest weakness.  But, I was curious what we can expect from the WRs. 

 

We all think the WRs are talented, but young.  Since Black was out all last year we don't have a freshman year to project from.  We pretty much know what to expect of Perry...reliable, good route runner, but not going to blow anyone away.  And Collins and Martin are probably still too young and/or inexperienced to have a huge impact.  So, the goal here was to project DPJs numbers to get a feel for answering the question on how far the offense can come this year. 

 

To do this I compared DPJ to some of UM's more recent top WRs.  I chose Braylon Edwards, Mario Manningham, Devin Funchess, David Terrell, Desmond Howard, Amani Toomer, and Jeremy Gallon.  This is obviously a list of some of the all time greats so it's debatable if DPJ deserves this high company, but based on his freshman year numbers he appears to.  I created a table of receptions, yards, and TDs for each of their freshman, sophomore, and junior years, averaged the improvement from year to year, and took that to project DPJ's sophomore and junior year.  Unfortunately after calculating all the data I realized I have no idea how put tables into a post :/  So, without having to re-format all the data again I will just give you the bottom line.

 

Average 

Fr to So Improvement

Rec: +36

Yds: +595

TD: +4

 

So to Jr Improvement

Rec: +16

Yds: +218

TD: +4

 

DPJ

Freshman

Rec: 22

Yds: 277

TD: 0

 

Projected Sophomore

Rec: 58

Yds: 872

TD: 4

 

Projected Junior

Rec: 74

Yds: 1090

TD: 8

 

If you look at DPJ's freshman year numbers and use the average of the group we compared him to in order to project his sophomore year he project's very similar to David Terrell's sophomore year.  He also projects very similar to Terrell's junior year.  Further David Terrell was listed as 6'2" 198 lbs his freshman year and up to 212-ish before he left UM.  DPJ was listed as 6'2" 198 lbs last year and is now up to 207.  Terrell eventually left after his junior year.  By his sophomore year he was an All Conference selection and after his junior year was an All American and first round pick.  I think we'd all take that for DPJ.  

 

A few points to note.  Terrell also had another really good WR in his class in Marquis Walker just as DPJ has Black.  Terrell did have the one and only Tom Brady throwing to him and he had the luxury of playing with one of UM's best all time offensive lines that featured Hutchinson & Backus and Anthony Thomas running the ball.  It's hard to imagine the 2018 version's o-line will be as good and the QB position is a bit of a guess.  So, feel free to project, dissect, and point out anything I may have omitted or didn't consider.

Comments

DrMantisToboggan

August 20th, 2018 at 12:59 PM ^

That's close to what I figured DPJ would do yardage-wise, but I'd guess slightly fewer receptions and maybe a TD or two more. He'll be a big play guy this year, but I also think we have so many receiving options that the top receiver might have under 50.

MGoStrength

August 20th, 2018 at 1:13 PM ^

It seems to make sense that he'd have a few more TDs and a few less catches based on what we know of how last year panned out with our poor QB play (I projected off last year's numbers and when you start with 0 TDs it can only go up so much) and our offense (JH loves his TEs and Black when healthy was targeted more).  But, it certainly is nice to see such a positive projection for a guy we all wanted to see great things from.

Arb lover

August 20th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

I like how you discussed the peer receiver issue ie Terrell. That does make him a better comparator. 

I would argue however that these projections might be low as DPJ was alone in that group of comparators in having no good talent at qb and oline during his freshman season. I.e. playing with what Terrell had on offense as a freshman he might have gotten closer to 500+ yards.

MGoStrength

August 20th, 2018 at 7:50 PM ^

I would argue however that these projections might be low as DPJ was alone in that group of comparators in having no good talent at qb and oline during his freshman season. I.e. playing with what Terrell had on offense as a freshman he might have gotten closer to 500+ yards.

I would agree that DPJ could have had a much better year with better QB play.  He was open a lot and simply not thrown to or missed.  There were more opportunities for him.  And, having Patterson should help improve him more than the average of the group.  However, we still have the same crap o-line to contend with and JH's propensity to utilize the TEs and the running game a lot.  Ultimately if I had to guess DPJ will do better than projected in TDs, but probably slightly worse than projected in receptions and yards.

funkywolve

August 21st, 2018 at 11:35 PM ^

It works both ways.  One of the reason Terrell, Edwards, Walker, etc. didn't put up much stat wise their freshmen year was because they usually were behind really good receivers who were veterans and experienced.  With all due respect to the guys who have left the program, DPJ didn't exactly have a couple of studs ahead of him on the depth chart.  

MGoStrength

August 20th, 2018 at 7:29 PM ^

How did DPJ's numbers as a freshman compare to those guys?

 

Average Freshman Year of Group

Rec: 12

Yds: 179

TDs: 2

 

DPJ Freshman Year

Rec: 22

Yds: 277

TDs: 0

 

DPJ was better than average for the group.  His TDs were down, but remember how bad the offensive line was last year and even more so the QB.  The offensive line should slightly improve and the QB quite a bit.  Manningham had the best freshman year of the group, Braylon & Desmond had the best sophomore years, and Braylon & Manningham had the best junior years.

Mongo

August 20th, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

Probably hard to get those kind of numbers from any one WR in a Harbaugh offense given he uses both TEs and Slots in his various schemes ... and it appears Perry and Gentry are going to see a lot of minutes this fall.  But DPJ should get better and better each year with rising stats, especially more TDs from big-hitters.  Shea will connect with him much better than last year's QBs.

Ron Utah

August 20th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

Those averages create some really reasonable projections.  My guess is that DPJ might end-up with fewer catches and yardage, and maybe one or two more TDs.  Here's why:

  • McKeon, Gentry, Black, Perry, Evans, Collins, Martin, Eubanks...there are a lot of talented receiving threats on this team.  And this list does not even count the rumors of McCurry, production from the FBs, and guys like Schoenle.
  • DPJ is likely the fastest WR on the team, and we already know Shea throws a great deep ball.  I'd guess he is the #1 recipient of fades and gets to five or six TDs
  • The flip side is that there appear to better red zone targets: Gentry, Collins, Black stand out.  DPJ is more likely to score from further out.
  • The running game is going to feature heavily in our offense.  While pass-blocking is still a question mark, the combination of Warriner, our talent on the inside of the OL, and our Higdon/Evans combo, I'd expect the offense to remain run-heavy, close to last year's 60:40 split.  I also expect about 2,800 yards of rushing output.
  • The defense will hinder his production.  We're not going to need 30 points to win games this season.  Harbaugh isn't going to dial-up too many pass plays when we're ahead 21-3 in the 3rd quarter.  
  • While the passing game will be more efficient than last year, the better rushing attack will offset the need to throw more.  FWIW, Harbaugh has been 60:40 the last two years after being 54:46 in his first.  2015 had his best QB (Rudock), Chesson, Darboh, Butt, and a shortage of talent at RB.  It also had some solid pass-blockers on the OL.

MGoStrength

August 20th, 2018 at 7:37 PM ^

Agree on many of those points.  Also, IMO the major reason for such low TDs from last year is the poor QB play.  I think Patterson gets him above average for the group with TDs, which would be higher than what I projected.  For all the reasons you mentioned there is also reason for his receptions & yards to be slightly less than projected.

Milk

August 20th, 2018 at 4:59 PM ^

The projected stats look good, but I fear that's because you only picked receivers that had good stats for your analysis.  Were there any receivers that put up similar stats to DPJ in their freshman year but then never really improved?

MGoStrength

August 20th, 2018 at 7:40 PM ^

I'm sure there were, but 1) I didn't go back past 1990, and 2) we only have freshman year numbers for DPJ so I picked guys with similar freshman years to his.  Since we don't know what his future will hold I didn't think it was fair to pick anyone that we knew wasn't like him, only those that have been like him so far...hence if they crapped out later I didn't look.

Watching From Afar

August 20th, 2018 at 7:57 PM ^

His fumble problems were muffed punts, not when he was carrying the ball.

He also only had like 2 legitimate drops I can remember. A lot of terrible throws that he got a hand on. Everyone remembers the SCAR curl that he dropped because he muffed the punt right before it, but he had like 6 catches prior to that drop.

Watching From Afar

August 21st, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

Agreed. I read the scouting reports on him and the Hello posts. The idea that he was a fumble and drop machine is just off-base. Yeah, he struggled early on with catching short punts and then had the muff in the bowl game, but he was a true freshman so I'm not worried about it.

Receiving wise, he was boned by terrible QB play. Even Speight airmailed a drag route that DPJ had to swat down so it didn't get picked off against Cincinnati. He had a sure fired TD against MSU under thrown, another TD over thrown against Indiana, a TD taken back by the officials at Wisconsin, and he was just flat out invisible to JOK against OSU somehow even though he was wide open multiple times.

Like I said, I can remember 2 legitimate drops. I can remember 3 times as many other throws that DPJ couldn't do anything about even though he ran a good route.

Arb lover

August 21st, 2018 at 8:58 AM ^

Also because you might enjoy better formatting, you can insert tables into your next diary by pasting your excel data into the input box on this website. Then click the "Tableize It" button.

Then just paste the output into the source code. Add <p> as appropriate or just switch back from source for automatic formatting.