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Alshon Jeffery has the size of a prototypical wide receiver. He’s 6’3 and weights 218 pounds, but his career has been hampered by injuries. Since he was drafted in 2012, he’s only played in two complete seasons. This offseason he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year $9.5 million contract.
For this video, I tracked his 94 targets from the 2016 season to see how he fits.
Before we talk about Jeffery, here are some charts I created from the analysis.
Targets by Location
This table breaks down where the ball was thrown. Note: Deep is 16+ yards, Medium is 6-15 yards, and Short is 5 yards or fewer.
Targets by Route
The next table breaks down his targets by route. Similar routes were combined together based on the distance and type of pass.
As you can see in the charts, his more ran route combination was the fade/comeback combination down the sideline. He was used to vertically stretch the defense and physically outmatch defenders by the sideline. While he’s not the fastest receiver, his physicality to fight for balls and to gain late separation is definitely what makes him so dangerous.
Not only can Jeffery create against man coverage, he can find the holes in zone defenses. His intelligence is definitely valuable to an NFL offense like the Eagles.
Overall, Jeffery is a very talented receiver. Since he's entered the NFL, he’s developed crisp footwork and learned the subtleties of route running to make up for his lack of top end speed.
While this is definitely a limitation, he can still produce on the sideline, in the redzone, and versus zone coverage.
[Ed. note: this is a special guest contribution. Thanks to Samuel Gold for putting this breakdown together.]