Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders

Coby Fleener Among NFL Leaders in ‘Deep Drops’ Last Year

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As astutely pointed out by the always great Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener was among the NFL leaders in deep drops last year, averaging 16.8 yards per drop on a total of 5 drops:

Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Before this gets quickly labeled as a “Slamming Coby Fleener” article, it’s not intended to be as such. The 4th-year tight end is coming off an impressive season in which he caught 51 receptions for 774 receiving yards and a tied for team-high 8 touchdowns.

With his rare combination of speed and size at 6’6″, 251 pounds, Fleener is often a matchup nightmare in coverage for opposing defenses, where’s he’s too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties. However, he hasn’t consistently put it all together on a play-by-play basis to become truly elite, occasionally showing a lack of focus which leads to drops.

As Kacsmar has already pointed out, it’s up to the viewer to determine how important such “deep drops” truly are. He’s merely providing a context and perhaps, even logically thinking, proposing that some drops are theoretically more significant to the outcome of the game than others:

While one can argue whether the yardage is important on the drops when push comes to shove, one can’t argue that Fleener has had his fair share of bad drops, among the worst coming in Week 13 against Washington last year:

Gif via Fox Sports.

Still, Fleener was much more good than bad last season, all deep drops considered.

Entering the last year of his rookie contract, Fleener is looking to build upon an impressive season last year and cut down on some of the silly drops. If he can successfully do both, Fleener can honestly become one of the best receiving tight ends in all of football and set himself up nicely for a lucrative new contract.

Right now, it’s clearly just a matter of concentration and focus.

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