One of the biggest challenges for Ole Miss this season will be replacing Laquon Treadwell, who was Chad Kelly’s go-to receiver in 2015.
So let’s dig through our advanced stats to see how Ole Miss can replace Treadwell and if any obvious candidates stand out.
The key to replacing Treadwell is finding a reliable possession receiver who can excel on the short and intermediate routes. In 2015, 63 percent of Treadwell’s targets came between zero and 15 yards down the field. His 57 receptions in this area was nearly double Evan Engram’s total, the next most-targeted receiver in this zone.
The chart above highlights just how valuable Treadwell was in this area, but it also shows us a pretty obvious candidate to fulfill Treadwell’s role in the offense.
6’2″, 220-pound Damore’ea Stringfellow hauled in 73 percent of his targets in this area of the field—nearly identical to Treadwell’s rate—and also demonstrated the best hands on the team, with zero drops.
On passes at all levels, Stringfellow had just two drops in 2015, a 5.4 percent drop rate.
Given his size and performance in 2015, Stringfellow looks like the ideal replacement for Treadwell, with Engram continuing to play the same role as the secondary target in this area.
It’s also safe to assume Quincy Adeboyejo and his 30.4 percent drop rate will not be the go-to possession receiver. In fact, if Adeboyejo keeps up that rate of drops, he may struggle to hold off others behind him, including freshman D.K. Metcalf.