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5/10/2006 03:26:00 PM

Receivers In New Homes

Eric Moulds
The Texans traded a fifth-round pick to the Bills for receiver Eric Moulds.
AP

The performance of a recently acquired big-play receiver is completely unpredictable. Who could have guessed Santana Moss would be a Pro Bowler with the Redskins and Randy Moss would tank with the Raiders?

Every offense is different and a wideout's success is dependent on the system. Terrell Owens successfully transitioned from the 49ers to the Eagles, but who knows how he'll fare in Dallas? Cowboys coach Bill Parcells was wise to warn T.O. he's not going to approach 100 catches in Dallas' run-heavy scheme.

Despite Parcells' warning, I still expect T.O. to thrive. But other receivers in new places have "bust" written all over them. Let's break them down:

GOOD CATCHES

Terrell Owens, Cowboys: The offensive line is the only big question mark in Dallas. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe has his detractors, but if he has time he'll be able to hook up T.O. And call this a dangerous hunch, but I think Owens will behave. Check back with me in November, though. Predicted Production: 85 catches, 1,300 yards.

Keyshawn Johnson, Panthers: Johnson turns 34 in July, but he's never relied on speed so he can still be productive. Opponents have to double-team All-Pro Steve Smith on any passing down, so Johnson will have plenty of opportunities. Predicted Production: 65 catches, 900 yards.

Joe Jurevicius, Browns: Jurevicius is more like a tight end than a receiver. He's not going to get too far downfield and he's too big for defensive backs to handle one-on-one. Jurevicius won't remind anyone of Randy Moss, but for a guy who cost the Browns next to nothing, he might make a nice target for Charlie Frye. Predicted Production: 60 catches, 900 yards.

Nate Burleson, Seahawks: Considering the broken-down Jurevicius (sorry Joe, I know I praised you above) flourished in Seattle last year, the younger, faster Burleson should do just fine in the Emerald City. Predicted Production: 65 catches, 1,050 yards.

DROPPING THE BALL

Javon Walker, Broncos: None of Brett Favre's receivers has ever had any success on a team other than the Packers and Walker is coming off of a major knee injury. It will be hard for the former Packers WR to earn the reported $40 million contract he just signed. Predicted Production: 60 catches, 950 yards.

David Givens, Titans: The former Patriot may have decent numbers because the Titans will be trailing often, but I can't imagine he'll end up being worth the money Tennessee shelled out for him (five years, $24 million). Of the two options at QB, Billy Volek can only throw to Drew Bennett for some reason and I don't think Vince Young will be effective downfield yet. Predicted Production: 50 catches, 850 yards.

Eric Moulds, Texans: Is anyone paying attention in Houston? Either the offensive line can't block or quarterback David Carr stinks. Either way, the Texans didn't fix the problem and adding a receiver won't help. Predicted Production: 55 catches, 800 yards.

Brandon Lloyd, Redskins: Last year, if quarterback Mark Brunell threw to anyone other than Santana Moss or Chris Cooley he was in trouble. I don't see that changing much this season. Lloyd has a knack for the spectacular, but not in this offense. Predicted Production: 45 catches, 700 yards.

Antwaan Randle El, Redskins: Just like Lloyd, the dynamic Randle El won't have enough opportunities in Washington. Predicted Production: 40 catches, 550 yards.

Antonio Bryant, 49ers: Jerry Rice couldn't catch 70 balls on this team. Predicted Production: 55 catches, 800 yards.

Let me know how you think T.O. and the other wideouts will fare in 2006.

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