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Production Of 36 Year Old Wide Receivers In Regards To Hines Ward


There was an interesting discussion this morning on Trib Live Radio in regards to 36 year old wide receivers in relation to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward this morning and how effective those receivers were at that age. I pulled the numbers that you can see below in the table from Pro Football Reference of receivers that played at 36 years old and also included their AV number for that season. In short, the Approximate Value (AV) method is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year. It is not without faults though.

According to the research I did, there have only been 28 receivers that caught at least 1 pass at the age of 36. 16 of those 28 had 40 or more receptions that year and 23 of the 28 had 400 or more yards receiving in that season. All but 7 on the list had a 10 yards per catch average. Half of the receivers listed had an AV rating of 6 or more at 36.

There are no hard conclusions you can draw from this list other than to say that some 36 year old receivers have proven that they can still be effective in the league at that age. Ward has obvious slipped way down the depth chart due to the young receivers in Pittsburgh, and at the best he is a 4th wide receiver now that does not play special teams. Ward is also coming off ankle surgery as well. He recorded 46 receptions in 2011 on 63 targets and 20 of those were good for first downs. His yards per catch was 8.28. Make of this list what you will.

ETA: I have also now added the DYAR and DVOA numbers from Football Outsiders, where available, as a means of comparison. You can read more about what both Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value Over Average mean right on their website and see the full numbers of all wide receivers dating back to 1992.

NAME YR TEAM EXP G REC RECYD YD/REC TD AV DYAR DVOA
Jerry Rice 1998 SF 14 16 82 1157 14.11 9 12 151 0.00%
Tim Brown 2002 OAK 15 16 81 930 11.48 2 9 147 1.70%
Cris Carter 2001 MIN 15 16 73 871 11.93 6 8 57 -7.20%
Jimmy Smith 2005 JAC 14 16 70 1023 14.61 6 11 190 5.90%
Charlie Joiner 1983 SD 15 16 65 960 14.77 3 8 N/A N/A
Derrick Mason 2010 BAL 14 16 61 802 13.15 7 7 216 13.50%
Isaac Bruce 2008 STL 15 16 61 835 13.88 7 7 159 6.00%
Marvin Harrison 2008 IND 13 15 60 636 10.60 5 7 31 -9.20%
Drew Hill 1992 ATL 14 16 60 623 10.38 3 7 17 -10.40%
Joey Galloway 2007 TB 13 15 57 1014 17.79 6 9 235 17.10%
Terrell Owens 2009 BUF 14 16 55 829 15.07 5 7 -18 -14.80%
Muhsin Muhammad 2009 CAR 14 14 53 581 10.96 1 5 41 -6.80%
Rod Smith 2006 DEN 12 16 52 512 9.85 3 5 -57 -20.30%
James Lofton 1992 BUF 15 16 51 786 15.41 6 9 146 4.20%
Irving Fryar 1998 PHI 15 16 48 556 11.58 2 3 -150 -29.70%
Art Monk 1993 WAS 14 16 41 398 9.71 2 3 -16 -15.30%
Donald Driver 2011 GB 13 16 37 445 12.03 6 5 137 18.10%
Tony Martin 2001 ATL 12 14 37 548 14.81 3 5 42 -5.60%
Frank Lewis 1983 BUF 13 11 36 486 13.50 3 4 N/A N/A
Keenan McCardell 2006 SD 15 14 36 437 12.14 0 6 100 12.50%
Ricky Proehl 2004 CAR 15 16 34 497 14.62 0 5 -9 -14.30%
Henry Ellard 1997 WAS 15 16 32 485 15.16 4 4 93 6.30%
Cliff Branch 1984 LAR 13 14 27 401 14.85 0 3 N/A N/A
Don Maynard 1971 NYJ 14 14 21 408 19.43 2 6 N/A N/A
Charley Taylor 1977 WAS 14 12 14 158 11.29 0 2 N/A N/A
Andre Reed 2000 BUF 16 6 10 103 10.30 1 1 11 -4.50%
Bobby Engram 2009 KC 14 5 5 61 12.20 0 0 6 -5.30%
Karl Hankton 2006 CAR 9 16 3 31 10.33 0 0 -17 -33.70%

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Joe D

    What was these guys production when they were 35??

    And you gotta admit… a lot of Ward’s production this year was dinks and dunks so that he can get to 1000 by year end!!!

  • Newmann_a

    looks like Ball Four, Hines

  • ma

    This is really setting up a false argument. Look at his 2010 stats. He wasn’t used this year because Arians kept him out of the games. Read Arians statement about wanting the young guys in.

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