Matt Harmon of NFL.com recently published an evaluation of the Top-10 No. 2 WRs in Separation during the 2016 regular season. He defines a number two receiver as a wideout who received less than 100 targets when lined up out wide, but more than 100 targets total. To determine separation, Next Gen Stats measured the distance between the receivers and defenders on passes they were targeted on.
Basically, this is a ranking of how adept complimentary receivers were at getting open last season. Two Baltimore Ravens made the list..
Placing two wide receivers in the top eight of this list can be interpreted two different ways. While a pair of top notch complimentary receivers may not be as beneficial as having a top flight number one wideout such as Antonio Brown, is is fair to wonder why Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense did not produce better overall results with Wallace and Smith Sr. On the other hand, these separation ranking could be viewed positively since Flacco did well to target his receivers when they were open and the play calling seemed to optimize Wallace and Smith Sr.’s skillsets.
Unfortunately, Steve Smith is not expected to return unless Steve Bisciotti and the Ravens brass can entice him to postpone retirement for the second time in as many years. The 2017 Ravens will sorely miss his yards after the catch, precise route running and competitive spirit. Replacing Senior is yet another major offseason priority.