We all know that Larry Fitzgerald is good. That's a given. We know that the Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks were not good. We know that Fitzgerald had a good year despite the terrible quarterback play. We should also know that dropped passes are part of the game, even for elite receivers. Pro Football Focus has a feature on dropped pass statistics and who the best and worst receivers are. And would you believe it? Larry Fitzgerald is near the top.
Fitz logged 90 receptions and only dropped three passes in 2010. With a drop percentage of a mere 3.23 percent, that ranked him fourth best among all receivers that had at least 59 catchable passes thrown their way. What is also notable is the fact that none of the three players ahead of him (Jordan Shipley, Earl Bennett and Kevin Walter) caught more than 52 passes.
In fact, among all the "great" receivers, Fitz was clearly the best at hauling in passes. There were 23 players in the NFL that caught at least 70 passes. Of those 23 players, only five were ranked in the top 15 in drop percentage. In turn, there were four of these players in the bottom fifteen in drop percentage.
Among the big name receivers who fall in the bottom fifteen are some surprises. Wes Welker, with his 93 receptions, also had 14 drops. Miles Austin, both Steve Smiths, Jordy Nelson, Brandon Marshall and Santonio Holmes all fell into that group. The worst at dropping passes? The electric DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
If we go back to the past three seasons, Fitz ranks number two, dropping only 3.27 percent of catchable throws. Only Walter is ahead of him, who has roughly half of the receptions.
There is a lot of talk about the best receivers in the game. Fitz is usually there in the top three. Andre Johnson is in that discussion, too. But considering the production he has had, the abilities he has and the fact that no other elite receiver is really even close in terms of catching abilities, I think you still have to put Larry Fitzgerald at the top of the list still.