Who Needs Receivers?
Seth at MGoBlog took a look at conference receiving over the last decade, and I noticed something as I was scanning the table with NFL draft picks in it. No Boilers, no Boilers ... hmm, no Purdue WRs drafted by the NFL in the last 10 years. So I figured I'd ask p-f-r, because it knows everything. Give me a list of all Purdue WRs drafted in the Zlionsfan Graduate Era, 1991-2015.
You can see for yourself, or to save you a click, I'll list them here:
- Brian Alford: 2 career receptions
- Vinny Sutherland: 1 career reception
Oh. If you're wondering, the last drafted Purdue WR to have any kind of impact was Calvin Williams, taken in the fifth round in 1990 by the Eagles. He had 308 career catches and a Career Approximate Value of 33. A few years earlier, Mark Jackson (not that Mark Jackson) went in the sixth round to Denver and amassed 342 catches and a 44 CarAV.
The only other Boiler to have a double-digit CarAV after being drafted was Darryl Stingley, New England's first-round pick in 1973. He got 110 catches before his career was ended by Jack Tatum.
That's it. 46 years, 3 guys. (Sutherland was the last Purdue WR drafted, so that list isn't going to change this season.) Having NFL-caliber talent isn't a prerequisite for college success, especially if you have a Hall-of-Fame caliber QB, but when you build your reputation on your passing game, I think it says something that pretty much all the players of note in that relationship are on the throwing side. (Here's a palate cleanser for you: QBs drafted since the merger. Oddly, it's exactly the same number, although fewer QBs actually played a down, but the quality's a little different, yes?)
And when the Big Ten figured out that it was legal to use the width of the field, and that LBs and safeties should maybe be motorcycles instead of semis, we've yet to see a Purdue head coach who's figured out how to counter that.