1 Vs 1 WR Edition: TY Hilton Vs Doug Baldwin
In this series I'm going to compare two similarly ranked and drafted players putting them up against each other, and comparing them in a variety of categories such as quality of quarterback, draft pedigree, age, combine results, measurables, team passing attempts, snaps played, PFF grades, target percentage, and depth chart competition. In an attempt to determine which of the two players will be the superior dynasty asset. In this edition I'm going to compare two immensely talented wide receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Doug Baldwin who both happen to catch passes from two of the most talented young quarterbacks in the NFL.
Both wide receivers had excellent 2016 seasons, Hilton caught 91 passes totalling 1448 yards and 6 touchdowns on 155 targets, for an impressive 15.9 yards per reception. Baldwin hauled in 94 passes for 1128 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 12.0 yards per reception on his 125 targets. I have Hilton ranked as my 14th dynasty wide out, and Baldwin ranked as my 16th overall wide receiver. As far as the quarterbacks who throw these two talented wide receivers the ball, they are both elite and in the prime of the careers, which bodes well for Hilton and Baldwin being the number one wide receivers on their respective teams. Luck is an ascending young quarterback with ample weapons, and PFF graded him as such with Luck being there 4th overall QB with a 91.6 grade, Russell Wilson wasn't far behind as he was the 5th overall graded quarterback with a 88.9 grade. I also have them ranked very closely with Luck as my 2nd ranked dynasty quarterback and Wilson ranked as my 3rd overall quarterback. Advantage: Hilton
When it comes to age, measurables, combine results, and draft pedigree, these two wide receivers have a lot in common. Hilton is a year younger than Baldwin is as he turned 28 in November, compared to Baldwin who turned 29 in September. Baldwin is the slightly bigger of the two wide receivers at 5'10 192 pounds, whereas Hilton is listed at 5'9 178 pounds. Both receivers had impressive pro days, Hilton missed the 2012 combine due to a hamstring injury but still ran a 4.34 40, putting up a 119 inch broad jump and a 35.5 inch vertical. Baldwin simply wasn't invited to the 2011 NFL combine, which seems crazy knowing what we know today. He managed to put up solid numbers during his pro day nonetheless running a 4.48 40, with a 123 inch broad jump and a 37 inch vert. The Draft pedigree advantage easily goes to Hilton, as he was taken in the 2012 draft with the 29th pick of the 3rd round, 92nd overall. Baldwin shockingly was an undrafted free agent, signing with Seattle after the completion of the draft. In that 2011 NFL draft 254 players and 26 wide receivers were selected, none of which were named Doug Baldwin. Looking back at that 2011 wide receiver class only Julio Jones and AJ Green have statistically outperformed Doug Baldwin, and only 4 of those 26 wide receivers selected are still playing in the NFL today. Advantage: Hilton
Now lets take a look at these two from more of a team perspective, looking at each teams passing attempts, completion percentage, successful play rate, and teams passing play percentage. In 2016 Indianapolis attempted 584 passes, completing 63.4% of them, with a 48% successful play rate, throwing the ball on 60.6% of the time. Last year Seattle threw the ball 567 times, with a 64.9 completion percentage, and a 53% successful play rate, passing on 59.4% of offensive plays in 2016. These two wide receivers both benefit from playing with elite quarterbacks, as do Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson from playing with these two talented wide receivers. I give a very slight edge to Luck when comparing the two quarterbacks long term, but for the short term I prefer Wilson due to the uncertainty of Luck's shoulder and not knowing if he's going to wind up on PUP to start the 2018 season. Advantage: Baldwin
In 2016 Baldwin played 996 snaps, where he was targeted 125 times for a team target share percentage of 22.1%. Hilton played 946 snaps last season and his 155 targets equated to more than a quarter of his entire teams targets as he finished with a 26.5% target share. As far as the depth charts go behind these two talented wide receivers the Colts have a fairly crowded but unproven depth chart. Hilton has to contend with glorified tightend Donte Moncreif, actual tightend Jack Doyle, grandfather Frank Gore, as well as Chester Rogers, Kamar Aiken, Robert Turbin and Rookie Marlon Mack for targets. While in Seattle Baldwin doesn't have a lot of target competition, only having to fend off Tyler Lockett, Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and a runningback committee including Chris Carson, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, CJ Prosise, and JD McKissic. Advantage: Baldwin
This wide receiver comparison was an extremely close one, but I'm going to have to give the edge to Hilton. I expect both receivers to have elite fantasy production for the foreseeable future but can honestly see the Luck to Hilton connection being one of the NFL's best quarterback wide receiver duos for years to come. That's not to discount what Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin have done together, because they too have been a terrific combo for several years, and will likely continue to do so for at least another year or two. Baldwin going undrafted is a good reminder, that on occasion even the best minds working for scouting departments in the NFL can still manage to miss on a player allowing him to slip through the cracks. It is also important to remember that a players combine results and draft pedigree shouldn't be used to judge how their career will play out, but used more as a reference or indication in the amount of draft capitol a team has used to acquire a player. Winner: TY Hilton