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2011 NFL Draft: Philip Rivers Has a New Big-Play Wide Receiver in Vincent Brown

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 20:  Wide receiver Vincent Brown #80 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates after his first touchdown of the game, on a ten yard reception in the first quarter against the Utah Utes at Qualcomm Stadium on November 20, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
David BarbourContributor IIIMay 6, 2011

For three straight years, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has led the NFL in yards per pass attempt and his reign at the top of that passing category will no doubt continue with the drafting of former San Diego State wide receiver Vincent Brown in the third round. Of course, Rivers will only be able to benefit from Brown's big play ability if Brown is able to replicate what he did in college football, especially his last two seasons.

Over Brown's collegiate career, he provided a decent amount of value to his San Diego State quarterbacks, but he was not overly impressive in his production by any means. 

After Brown's wide receiving statistics, which include his receptions, passes on which he was targeted, and receptions, were removed from San Diego State's quarterbacks' passing statistics, the quarterbacks experienced a .9 percent decrease in completion percentage (from 57.0 percent to 56.5 percent), a 5.5 percent decrease in yards per pass attempt (from 7.3 to 6.9), a 4.7 percent increase in yards per completion (from 12.8 to 12.2), and an 8.3 percent decrease in touchdown percentage (from 4.8 percent to 4.4 percent).

Brown's career numbers are not as impressive as some of the top wide receivers taken in the draft like Jonathan Baldwin, Aldrick Robinson, Torrey Smith, A.J. Green or Leonard Hankerson, but the Chargers are not interested in what Brown did over his whole career. They want him to do for them what he did over his last two seasons at San Diego State.

Over his last two seasons, which included 20 games, once Brown's wide receiving statistics are removed from San Diego State's quarterbacks' passing statistics, the quarterbacks underwent a 2.3 percent decrease in completion percentage (from 56.8 percent to 55.5 percent), a 12.9 percent decrease in yards per pass attempt (from 8.5 to 7.4), a 10.7 percent decrease in yards per completion (from 14.9 to 13.3), and an 8.8 percent decrease in touchdown percentage (from 6.8 percent to 6.2 percent).

While those fantastic seasons still were not better than the best seasons of Baldwin, Robinson, or Smith, they are still extremely valuable and made Brown the fourth-best wide receiver in the draft in terms of value given to his college quarterbacks.

Since Rivers has already proven so adept at gaining huge chunks of yardage per pass attempt, adding a wide receiver of Brown's caliber, who has elite-level ability in terms of aiding a quarterback in that statistical category, will ensure that the Chargers continue to have one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the NFL.

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