Last year, one of the more ridiculous arguments we, as a community, had on this blog was the whole 'Who's better: Pierre Garcon or Anthony Gonzalez?'
Never mind that Garcon had clearly booted Gonzo from his starting job, and anyone who closely followed the Colts knew that Gonzo had next to zero chance of getting that job back. For many, the notion that Gonzo was 'better' had mostly to do with his catch percentage in 2008 (72%) while Garcon had a 52% catch percentage in 2009, the year Indy went to the Super Bowl with Garcon starting and Gonzo out with injuries.
The entire argument was silly, and typical of us Colts fans freaking out over dumb sh*t that, in the long run, means nothing.
Garcon was given the starting job during training camp. This irked Gonzo because, in his own words, someone had mislead him about being able to truly compete for the job. Gonzo then got hurt in Week One of the 2010 season (just as he had done in 2009). Meanwhile, Garcon started 14 games, caught 67 passes, and scored six touchdowns. All those numbers were career highs.
However, Garcon's catch percentage, according to Football Outsiders, rose only 4 percentage points (56%). And if you follow Pro Football Focus, the pass catching numbers for Garcon look even worse. On the flip side, the guy who could very well be ranked as one of the top wideouts in football, statistically, isn't Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, or Reggie Wayne.
It's Austin Collie.
According to PFF's ranking system (which is not perfect or objective, but a system worth discussing), Collie ranks 14th in the entire NFL drops percentage. 64 'catchable' balls were thrown to Collie, and he only dropped 4 of them for a 6.45% drop percentage. If you look at Collie catch percentage in 2010, it was INSANE! He caught 82% of the balls thrown at him.
Meanwhile, Pierre Garcon ranked as the fourth worst wideout in terms of drop percentage at 15.29%. 85 catachable balls were sent his way, and he dropped 13 of them.
So, between Garcon and Gonzo, it seems the best wideout is actually Austin Collie. Collie and Garcon will be back in 2011 (if we have football). Gonzo's status is still up in the air. It would be nice to have them all available come Week One, but we shall see.