FanPost

Why WR3 is now a starter in the NFL


As the Lions continue to show an unreal amount of interest in Sammy Watkins, the debate here seems to revolve around whether trading up for him is worth the extra picks in what is considered a deep draft at a deep position were any WR would be at best considered the third fiddle behind Calvin and Golden Tate. The point against taking him seems to be centered around the WR3 position and its minimal impact, while also considering trading up for a player whom will not be a starter in the near future. In determining if this is a reasonable perspective, we first must define what a starter is in today's NFL that specializes in sub packages.

The fact is that currently defenses are playing nickel around 65% of the time on average. Then it is reasonable to determine that 65% of the time or more an offense has at least 3 WR on the field or at least 2 WR plus a Gronk or Graham type TE. We know that the Lions used the nickel as their primary defense last year, with Ashley Palmer playing only 34.1% of defensive snaps while Levy and Tulloch played 98.6% and 99.6% of snaps last year. By comparison Darius Slay played about the same number (32.9%) as Palmer, and he was the fourth CB in snap count and was injured for part of the year. From a defensive perspective, the Lions as most teams are playing with 6 man fronts with 5 DB's in the game most of the time. I think it is reasonable that even though Palmer is listed as a 'starter', Bill Bentley as the nickel corner who played 127 more snaps than Palmer in 3 less games is really the 'starter' on defense.

Now that we have determined that defenses are defending 3 WR sets the majority of the time, I think it is pretty safe to say that WR3 is in fact a starter on most NFL teams. Due to injuries to the Lions WR's last year it isn't exactly clear how often they played with 3 WR, but I would argue that it was more than the league average since they are consistently among the league leaders in pass attempts. Now we can see that in fact a WR3 is a 'starter' in today's NFL, and would in fact be the only position on the roster where there is no clear starter on this team. This would make WR3 the top priority still left to fill this off season.

It seems as though the Lions also share the same view presented here. Whether trading up for Watkins is worth it is till up for debate. If they determine that Watkins is the best WR prospect since AJ Green and Julio Jones like must experts seem to place him, then I would say go and get him. If on the other hand Watkins is more comparable to the 1st round WR's from last year, then I would say they should pass on trading up.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker