Comparing DeSean Jackson to Mike Wallace

I believe Jackson and Wallace have a ton in common as football players. They are both 24 (although this is only Wallace's second season, compared to Jackson's third), extremely fast and explosive deep threat wide receivers.

I have seen many commenters blast Jackson for his streakiness or inconsistency. As you will see with this comparison, I believe that is a trait of big play receivers and there is little wrong with that. I have also seen many debates over wide receivers that some commenters would rather have on the Eagles than Jackson. While this is not the main purpose of the post, feel free to debate this aspect as well.

Let's get to some stats: We will be looking at per game data, since Wallace appeared in 16 games, while Jackson appeared in only 14 games. This will normalize the stats since Wallace played more game.


Total yards from scrimmage:

Jackson: 82.85 per game

Wallace: 74.43 per game

Touchdowns per game (total):

Jackson: 0.5 per game

Wallace: 0.56 per game

Yards per catch:

Jackson: 22.5

Wallace: 20.2

Now for some advanced stats: (Definitions and stats from Football Outsiders)


Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement. This gives the value of the performance on plays where this WR caught the ball, compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage

Jackson: 110 (41st WR)

Wallace:413 (1st WR)


Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This number represents value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance

Jackson:2.4% (43rd WR)

Wallace:46.3% (1st)

Effective yards

Effective Yards, listed in red, translate DVOA into a yards per attempt figure. This provides an easy comparison: in general, players with more Effective Yards than standard yards played better than standard stats would otherwise indicate, while players with fewer Effective Yards than standard yards played worse than standard stats would otherwise indicate. Effective Yards are not the best way to measure total value because they are more dependent on usage than DYAR.

Jackson: 755 (1,056 standard yards)

Wallace: 1,180 (1,152 standard yards)

Catch rate:

Catch Rate represents the percentage of passes to this receiver completed. This is a reference to incomplete passes, not dropped passes

Jackson: 49%

Wallace: 61%

The advanced stats love Wallace. Alot of this may be due to the down and distance Wallace was targeted on, as opposed to Jackson. A WR cannot control all that goes into these stats, so while they are not the end all be all for a WR, they are interesting.

Finally, I wanted to look at the streakiness of both players. I looked at the 4 highest and 4 lowest yardage outputs of the season.

Jackson (lowest):

3 for 19

2 for 24

2 for 26

2 for 32

Wallace (lowest):

2 for 24

2 for 25

3 for 33

3 for 43

Jackson (highest):

7 for 109

4 for 135

5 for 153

4 for 210

4 total 100 yard games

Wallace (highest):

3 for 105

5 for 110

3 for 116

8 for 136

7 total 100 yard games

I thought this was an interesting comparison between two young WR in similar situations. We did not really touch on the return game for Jackson, which Wallace does not really do. You can see that they had similar outputs this season, with both of them having big games but also struggling for production in some games.

I think what was most beneficial about this exercise was that it showed the streakiness in a second big play WR. Wallace had some big games, like Jackson, but he also had some low output games. These will happen with these types of WRs and should not be a knock against them.

It will be intriguing to compare these players as the years go along and see if one puts himself far ahead of the other in terms of production.

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