Wes Welker and PFF's 'Drop Rate' statistic

663560.jpg

Wes Welker and PFF's 'Drop Rate' statistic

You're already looking forward to the receiver competition at Patriots training camp. Considering New England's stacked pack of wideouts and Bill Belichick's aversion to taking more than six into the regular season, the position battle promises to be interesting.

Hence why ProFootballFocus.com's "Drop Rate" blog post is so perfectly timed.

The statistic is exactly what it sounds like: "...how many drops a receiver had as a percentage of balls deemed catchable."

The PFF guys used receivers who've seen at least 125 catchable balls over the last three years.

And the results? Wes Welker's name came up several times.

The first point is opportunity. Unsurprisingly, Tom Brady's favorite target ranks No. 1 for catchable balls with 363. Roddy White was second with 360.

Of course more targets means more opportunity for dropped passes and Welker is No. 2 with 32 drops. Consequently, his hands don't put him in the top 15 of the 61 receivers studied.

NOTE: Two other Patriots did. Jabar Gaffney's 5.08 drop rate (10 drops of 197 catchable balls in one season with Washington, two with Denver) puts him at No. 7. Deion Branch sits at 15 with a 6.06 drop rate (10 drops, 165 catchable passes).

Welker is not in the bottom 15 either.

As far as drop rate goes it's safe to say he doesn't deserve a delivery of 8,000 Butterfinger bars. Welker's drop rate is 8.82. Great? No. But bear in mind only three players in that upper tier -- Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Anquan Boldin -- saw 200 or more catchable balls.

The Patriots probably won't use this information in Welker's continued contract negotiations. PFF's "Signature Stats" do come highly recommended, however.