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Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown Dominates Slant and Hitch Routes with Top PFF Grades

Highest-Graded Wide Receivers by Route Type: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Puka Nacua, and More

In a detailed analysis of the top-performing NFL wide receivers of 2023, Pro Football Focus (PFF) highlights players excelling in specific route types. Notable mentions include Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown and Los Angeles Rams’ rookie Puka Nacua, who both showed exceptional performances in their respective categories.

Why it Matters

Understanding which wide receivers excel at particular routes can provide deeper insights into their strengths and how they contribute to their teams’ overall offensive strategies. This analysis helps coaches and analysts optimize player utilization and strategize more effectively.

What’s New

The report from PFF reveals up-to-date statistics on the highest-graded receivers by route type for the 2023 season:

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown: Dominated slant and hitch routes. He recorded a 97.3 PFF grade on slant routes, making 11 receptions on 15 targets for 185 yards and three touchdowns. On hitch routes, he earned a 97.1 PFF grade with 24 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown.
  • Puka Nacua: Excelled on crossing routes with a remarkable 98.5 PFF grade, accruing 441 receiving yards, illustrating a stellar start to his rookie season.

The Big Picture

These findings put a spotlight on how individual player performances on specific routes impact game dynamics. Players like St. Brown and Nacua not only highlight their own abilities but also emphasize the importance of route specialization in modern NFL offenses. By identifying these key performers, teams can better tailor their playbooks and maximize each player’s potential.

By the Numbers

  • Rashee Rice (Kansas City Chiefs): Led screen routes with a 94.5 PFF grade, converting 27 targets into 25 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown.
  • Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers): Excelled on out routes with a 96.0 PFF grade and impactful performance on post routes.
  • Tyreek Hill (Miami Dolphins): Dominated go routes with an impressive 99.9 PFF grade, amassing 465 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • Calvin Ridley (Jacksonville Jaguars): Led on comeback routes, securing 41 receiving yards on five targets.

The Bottom Line

Pro Football Focus’ analysis sheds light on the distinctive capabilities of NFL wide receivers in 2023. Standout performances, particularly from Amon-Ra St. Brown and Puka Nacua, underline their prowess and importance within their team’s offensive frameworks. This detailed look at route type effectiveness not only celebrates individual accomplishments but also serves as a valuable resource for teams and analysts aiming to refine strategic playmaking.

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