Is 50 receptions in the rookie season for Anthony Miller a realistic projection, or is it too high?
Anthony Miller seems to be a divisive topic in fantasy communities. Some either love him, and see him as a potential Antonio Brown in the future. Others see him as an older receiver who beat up on younger and weaker competition. The truth is likely in the middle.
As for his rookie season, Mike Clay of ESPN.com has him projected to haul in 51 passes on 88 targets. the first interesting takeaway from this is that Clay has Miller slated to have a higher completion percentage than Allen Robinson.
This is likely taking into account that Miller will catch more screen passes and be involved in short passing, while Robinson while having a deeper average depth of target.
The next question is whether or not this is fair for a rookie and a second round pick at that. It is worth noting that the Chicago Bears came out of nowhere, trading a future draft pick to make the move for Miller.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
When looking at recent second-round picks, Miller would be in good company with where he can rank statistically. The list below accounts for every second round rookie since 2012. It is only fair to look at rookies since 2012 as the new CBA has incentivized teams to play rookies.
Miller would rank fifth in targets and sixth in receptions over this span. Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Sterling Shepherd, Jordan Matthews, Robert Woods would be the only recent second round picks more involved in the offense.
Tyler Boyd also had 54 receptions on 81 targets. He started off in the slot, he caught a lot of screen passes, and was efficient with them. Allen Robinson’s 2018 statistical projections brought up a comparison to A.J. Green, so for Miller to have a similar rookie year to Boyd would not be surprising.
***This does not mean his career will continue downhill like Boyd. Boyd had a great rookie season, this is a comparison solely to his rookie season.
The upside comparison for Sterling Shepherd, who had 65 receptions on 105 targets. The downside would likely be looking at what Zay Jones did last year. Jones was projected to play the slot but he caught just 27 passes on 74 targets.
However, the middle ground of just over 50 receptions in a Tyler Boyd like stat line is a good idea to look at for Anthony Miller and it makes the projection fair.