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Andy Behrens and Michelle Magdziuk of BallBlastEm.com list their 2021 breakout candidates on the latest episode of the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
MICHELLE MAGDZIUK: Because we think Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, CeeDee Lamb all good, which Justin Jefferson was fantastic. I will give him that. And then we think Jerry Jeudy bad. But, really, I think it's just Denver Broncos offense bad. Like it's not Jerry Jeudy bad.
Jeudy accounted for 23.3% of the Broncos' receiving yards this season. If you're comparing that to Tee Higgins-- who I love, I'm not talking down on-- and CeeDee Lamb, it's exactly the same. So Jeudy, 23.3. Higgins accounted for 23.9 of the Bengals' receiving yards. Lamb was down at 20.7. Yes, Lamb had more competition. That's fine.
Justin Jefferson was all the way up at 32.8. He's just a maniac. We won't discuss him. He already broke out.
But I just think if we're going to look at-- we do this with college players, right? We look at the percentage of what they did for their offensive team, because every college team is different. I do think maybe we need to look that way in the NFL as well. Like the Broncos' offense isn't the same as the Cowboys' offense or the Vikings' offense. And it's not fair to think so.
If you're looking at wide receivers that accounted for 22% or more of their team's receiving yards in their rookie season since 2015, the list is Justin Jefferson, Terry McLaurin, AJ Brown, Amari Cooper, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Stefon Diggs, and DK Metcalf. That's the entire list. That's a nice list to be a part of.
The biggest issue was that he only scored three touchdowns last year. And that has to increase. That's not good. But Drew Lock threw 16 passing touchdowns this season. And all of this discussion is pointless if they're going to go into the season next year with Drew Lock, because I don't think it's going to get any better for him. So, again, just a lot like your Mims take, they have to have an upgrade at quarterback. We'll see what that is.
Also, a big thing to point out is, he had a 46% catch rate this season. Yes, he had some bad drops. But out of his 110 targets, only 64 were catchable. 46 targets were uncatchable for Jerry Jeudy, third-most uncatchable targets in the league. Get Drew Lock out of there, bring in a better quarterback, and I think Jerry Jeudy is that wide receiver we were hoping for out of Alabama.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, Drew Lock obviously a train wreck. As soon as you-- as soon as you mentioned the drops, I get-- just sort of out of habit, I have Matt Harmon in my head telling me that drops don't matter and we should ignore them and they're not a thing that is, in all likelihood, going to repeat from season to season. Like I go back to the fact that we all had jokes about like Davante Adams his rookie year. He couldn't stop dropping the football, right? Like it happens. Players recover from it. It's not-- there's no reason to think that it predicts future drops or future problems with his hands.
I thought Jeudy was as advertised as a route runner. Like everything that you liked about him in college, that was there. His release off the line of scrimmage was great. His route running was just spectacular.
Drew Lock was just an absolute-- like maybe outside of like-- I forget the opponent when he had his one big game. He had like one solid game all season long, and every other game was full of the same garbage that we've grown accustomed to with Lock over a period of time, right? Like the just, you know, off the wrong foot, heaving it up into traffic just to see what's going to happen. And maybe some of that stuff can play in college, and it absolutely never plays in the NFL. So Lock was a problem, but I like this call a lot.
What is your-- what is your degree of concern-- I don't know that we can exclude the quarterback from this, but, obviously, one of the things that the Broncos' receiving corps faces-- and I thought about putting Noah Fant on my breakout list. One of the big issues here is that Courtland Sutton eventually comes back, and he's probably getting triple-digit targets.
MICHELLE MAGDZIUK: Well, we saw, when Courtland Sutton and Sanders played, Sutton was actually better with Sanders there. I think these two wide receivers can help each other out. I'm excited for Courtland Sutton to come back as well. But he is coming back from a very serious injury. It might--
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah.
MICHELLE MAGDZIUK: --take some time to get back into the rhythm of things. And, hopefully, it's a new quarterback. So this quarterback's not going to have any connection with Sutton that he doesn't-- you know, that he doesn't have with Jeudy. It's going to be the exact same playing field there. If anything, Sutton will just be able to get Jeudy more open. And Tim Patrick stole a lot of his targets--
ANDY BEHRENS: Right.
MICHELLE MAGDZIUK: --and a lot of his touchdowns. So I just think this hurts Tim Patrick more than it hurts Jeudy for Sutton returning next season.