Wes Welker’s average depth of target actually jumped up 1.9 yards from 2010-to-2011, but he still saw just over two-thirds of his targets in the zero-to-nine yard range. Interestingly, his catch, yards-per-reception, touchdown, and YAC rates were almost exactly identical in that zone both years. The big jump in his overall yards-per-reception (9.7 to 12.3) can be attributed to two items: (1) his 9.0 YAC/Reception mark in the 10-19 yard range, which was significantly inflated by a 99-yard touchdown and (2) a slight boost in 20-plus yard throws (from two percent to six percent). The 2012 Patriots figure to bring back the deep ball, but with Brandon Lloyd now in the picture, Welker can continue to focus on his short game.
How did I know there was going to be a Patriot in the short depth of target list and not one in the “deep threat” category?