Recently, T.Y. Hilton was interviewed after one of the many practices during the Colts Training Camp. In the interview, reporters asked what he thought about this year’s wide receiver depth. Now I’m pretty sure everyone, including T.Y., is excited about this years depth. It’s possibly the best position on the team (next to quarterback, of course). It was one comment that T.Y. made that perked my ears and everyone else’s as well.
Hilton stated that it’s great to have three number one wide receivers on the team. We assume that he is talking about Reggie and Nicks but who is that third one he is talking about? Yeah, himself. When asked if he was considering himself as a number one wide receiver he had three words-“Without a doubt”.
First off, I love Hilton’s confidence in himself. I think that he could be a number one receiver and the heir to the throne when Reggie hangs up his cleats. However, something kept bugging me about this. I wanted to see how Hilton stacked up against some of the top receivers in the league. I’m sure many of you know that I’m not a big stat guy. I feel that you cannot base your opinion solely on the stats of a player or the metrix that someone comes up with. You have to take the film into consideration as well. So I’m going to attempt to show you how Hilton stacks up to some of the best wide receiver talent in the NFL.
Receptions: 82 Targets: 138 Rec. %: 59 YPC: 13.2
Yards: 1,083 Touchdowns: 5 First Down Receptions: 46
Those are pretty solid numbers for a 3rd round pick who is under six feet tall and is considered by most to be a solid slot receiver or a possible #2 receiver. Almost 60% of the time Luck targeted Hilton, he brought it in and over half of his receptions were for a first down. Are those to be considered #1 receiver numbers? Lets compare to some of the others at his position.
Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay Bucs
Receptions: 78 Targets: 159 Rec. %: 49 YPC: 15.7
Yards: 1,224 Touchdowns: 7 First Down Receptions: 60
Dez Bryant-Dallas Cowboys
Receptions: 93 Targets: 160 Rec. %: 58 YPC: 13.3
Yards: 1,233 Touchdowns: 13 First Down Receptions: 67
Victor Cruz-New York Giants
Receptions: 73 Targets: 123 Rec. %: 59 YPC: 13.7
Yards: 998 Touchdowns: 4 First Down Receptions: 45
Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona Cardinals
Receptions: 82 Targets: 136 Rec. %: 60 YPC: 11.6
Yards: 954 Touchdowns: 10 First Down Receptions: 49
Andre Johnson-Houston Texans
Receptions: 109 Targets: 181 Rec. %: 60 YPC: 12.9
Yards: 1,407 Touchdowns: 5 First Down Receptions: 69
These are the stats for five of the top ten receivers in the NFL. Not just last year, but considered that way due to their film and their stats. So, how does Hilton stack up? I would say things look pretty favorable. His numbers don’t exactly match completely up to these other guys, but they are comparable.
Now before anyone flips their lid about me comparing little Hilton to some of these guys. I will go on record and say that I am not and will not say Hilton is better than any of these guys. However, to help the argument that T.Y. is a number one receiver it’s imperative that he be compared to some of the best and not just guys in his draft class. If I did that, then he would be the number one receiver because if I’m not mistaken, he is THE best receiver out of the 2012 class. That to me is another reason that maybe we should look at Hilton as a numero uno.
BUT….I don’t think we can say he is just yet.
I know I feel comfortable saying this. He is a great guy to have on this team and is a big play guy who can put up big numbers. Hilton has shown that he is reliable and when Lucks needs a guy and Reggie is covered he can count on Hilton. If Hilton can put up similar number or better numbers this season then I think anyone could consider him a number one. Call me a homer, but I do think he is on his way to that status. However, he must do some more work for sure. He is considered dangerous, but he must have a great season of about 1200 yards receiving and 7-10 touchdowns to be put in the top 15 in the NFL.