After the Detroit Lions signed wide receiver Golden Tate last week, some people voiced concerns over his receiving statistics. Our Jeremy Reisman put those concerns to rest by taking a closer look at his numbers and why playing in the Seattle Seahawks' run-oriented offense really prevented Tate's stats from being flashier.
In case you're still concerned over Tate's numbers, I have a few more stats that should make you feel better. These stats aren't projections for what he could do in the Lions offense or numbers based on how he was used in Seattle. They're simply stats that exemplify the type of receiver the Lions are getting in Tate. Let's start with his ridiculous drop rate from 2013:
Golden Tate sticky hands: 64 catches, 98 targets, 2 drops. 2.0% drop rate 8th among WR with 40 or more catches, according to Sporting Charts— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) March 12, 2014
If you pull his drop rate from an even bigger sample size, the numbers are even more impressive.
Golden Tate has dropped 5 of 149 catchable passes in the last 3 seasons, lowest rate of any WR. Best hands in the NFL. #Lions— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) March 12, 2014
Considering all of the issues the Lions had with drops last season, especially at wide receiver, adding the best hands in football to the mix is a nice step in the right direction. But don't get it twisted; Tate isn't just a possession receiver, not by any means. He's quite good after the catch as well.
Golden Tate gained 17.6% of his yards after contact last season - highest among wide receivers— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 12, 2014
According to Pro Football Focus, Tate actually led all wide receivers in 2013 by forcing 21 missed tackles. So he's quite reliable when the ball is thrown his way, and after the catch he's quite elusive as well. Considering how much the Lions pass the ball, Tate sounds like exactly what they needed to go along with Calvin Johnson at wide receiver.