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Rookie Wide Receivers: 2020-2021 College Air Yards/Yards After Catch Study

The Pittsburgh Steelers double dipped at the wide receiver position in the 2022 NFL draft, so today I wanted to start a series looking at and providing context for the position using Sports Info Solutions (SIS). The data in this study is from the wide receivers final two college seasons, and a few players were excluded due to SIS not tracking smaller school players. The goal is to see how Pittsburgh selections George Pickens and Calvin Austin III stacked up amongst their peers.

To start the series, I wanted to see the value of air yards and yards after catch, so I calculated the SIS data to get a completed air yard percentage (CAY% = completed air yards/intended air yards) to gain context of opportunity and connectivity along with a yards after catch percentage (YAC% = yards after catch/total yards) to see what wide receivers created once the ball was in their hands.