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.
Fr to So Improvement
So to Jr Improvement
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.