Kendall Wright is quickly developing into one of the premiere possession receivers in the game. Despite not garnering starting wideout snaps in the Titans first three games, Wright has 65 receptions (T-7th) on 91 targets, hauling in 73% of passes thrown in his direction (2nd). In seven games as a starter (in the slot or outside), he’s averaging 6.4 catches and 80 yards per game. He’s played 75% or more offensive snaps in eight consecutive weeks.
Wright’s greatest attributes, slot productivity and playmaking after the catch, are firmly correlated. He’s running 66% of his pass routes out of the slot (246 routes, 9th) – this in contrast to 2012 where he operated out of the slot only 13% of the time. His 53 slot targets rank him 3rd in the NFL and his 40 slot receptions rank 2nd.
55 of Wright’s 65 catches have come off targets behind the line of scrimmage (12) to nine yards beyond it (43); nevertheless, he still stands inside the top-20 WR’s in 20+ receptions with 11. Wright is dynamic in space with the ball in his hands. It’s not so much elite speed that separates him, but rather quickness, balance and overall supreme athleticism. His intelligence – knack for winning on routes – and field vision are also underrated commodities. The Titans do an excellent job peppering him with open field targets, which Wright has adroitly churned into 407 yards after the catch (6th).
Wright is particularly dangerous when the Titans are behind on the scoreboard and opposing defenses back away from the line: 41 receptions for 474 yards, 24 first downs (35 in total) and both of his touchdown grabs. I can’t stress it enough – he is absolutely lethal in space. One would think defenses would adjust to his lack of quantity (10% of targets) and quality (two receptions) with the deep ball, but they have not eliminated his comfort territory. Or perhaps he’s just that quick and slippery…
His game winning TD at Oakland on Sunday was his first score since week 2. Given his short stature (5’10) and preference for shaking and baking in space, Wright is naturally not an ideal red zone candidate. And the numbers certainly bear that out. He’ll face off against the Colts secondary for the second time in three weeks next time out, a unit he burned for nine receptions (12 targets) and 80 yards in week 11. Upper echelon edge rushers or not, Indianapolis has been carved up through the air of late. Wright is a WR2.
Keep an eye on fellow Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter. Unlike Wright, Hunter is a vertical threat with sick ball skills at 6’4. The rookie caught all six of his targets this past week, with a long of 54, for 109 yards and a TD. In limited duty he now has receptions of 34, 40 and 54 yards this season, and he’s outscored Wright with three TD’s. Upside owners — here’s your man. He played on 51% of snaps in week 12 and is owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues.
*Premium Stats provided by ProFootballFocus.com*
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