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Ted Ginn: Reason for Optimism

I told you yesterday that we would look into Ted Ginn's rookie season (as a receiver, not a return man) more in the coming days. And here is that look. Without question, Ginn's selection was one of the most controversial picks in Dolphins draft history. Because of that, I feel that some people are being very unfair to him after his rookie year. So let's take a look at some stats and discuss Ginn's rookie year.

First, here are his numbers compared to those of the other 2 top rookie wide receivers from the '07 draft class:

Player Rec Yards TDs Catch %
Ted Ginn 34 420 2 49%
Calvin Johnson 48 756 4 50%
Dwayne Bowe 70 995 5 60%

So, yes, clearly Ted Ginn had the least impressive numbers out of these 3. But looking at his catch percentage in relation to Calvin Johnson's (who was supposed to be a sure thing coming out of college) is encouraging. And that's especially true when you consider that Johnson had a better QB, or at least a more reliable QB, throwing to him than Ginn ever did.

Regardless of those figures, though, it's hard to pass any judgment because of how long the maturing process is for receivers coming out of college. Now I remember before the season, I read an article in one of the local papers about Ginn's 2007 expectations. The writer said that he'd be satisfied if Ginn could match the production of O.J. McDuffie. And many people agreed with that. So below are Ginn's numbers compared with McDuffie's from his rookie year, as well as Mark Clayton (another great Fins WR):

Player Rec Yards TDs
Ted Ginn 34 420 2
O.J. McDuffie 19 197 0
Mark Clayton 6 114 1

Alright. So Ginn passes that evaluation with flying colors. But of course, some will say that comparing Ginn to McDuffie, for example, isn't a fair assessment because Ginn was such a high draft pick. That's understandable. And to that, I say draft position shouldn't mean anything, especially when you consider some of the 1st rounds busts to have been drafted recently. Some include Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, Troy Williamson, Michael Clayton, and Ashlie Lelie. So rather than compare Ginn's rookie figures to other 1st round picks, I've compared them below with the top 10 players in receiving yards for 2007. Let's see how Teddy compares to the best receivers in the game after 1 season:

Player Rec Yards TDs
Ted Ginn 34 420 2
Reggie Wayne 27 345 0
Randy Moss 69 1313 17
Chad Johnson 28 329 1
Larry Fitzgerald 58 780 8
Terrell Owens 35 520 4
Brandon Marshall 20 309 2
Braylon Edwards 32 512 3
Marques Colston 70 1038 8
Roddy White 29 446 3
Torry Holt 52 788 6

Of those 10, Ginn had a better rookie year than 4 of them. But the point here isn't to say that Ginn is going to be great because he has similar numbers to other great receivers. That would just be an ignorant statement for me to make. The point here is to show that it takes time to develop at wide receiver in this league. Very rarely does a Randy Moss or Marques Colston come along and have a huge impact in year one. And that's especially true in Ginn's case when you consider the supporting cast he had this year and the instability of catching balls from 3 different quarterbacks.

Just for fun, I've compared the stats for Ginn and 3 players who are very good and who have a similar style to Teddy:

Player Rec Yards TDs
Ted Ginn 34 420 2
Steve Smith 10 154 0
Lee Evans 48 843 9
Santana Moss 30 433 4

Like Santana Moss, Ginn falls right in between the production of the other two guys. But I have to note that those figures for Moss are actually his 2nd season, as his first was cut short due to injury. So for Ginn to have similar numbers as Moss did after 2 seasons in an offense, that's a positive sign.

Now, again, the reason for this article was simply to show that there is still a reason for optimism. Some want to write off Ted Ginn already. And that's just not fair. He proved to be durable, taking some big shots from opposing players, and have very good hands (something people questioned coming out of college). Now the next step for Teddy is to continue to progress, learn this new offense, and develop into the #1 receiver we all hope he will become. One thing I promise you is that he will be working his tail off this offseason to get better. Now if he can just be used the right way by this new regime, we could see marked improvement in the production we see out of Teddy in 2008.

And I cannot wait!