The Decline of Brandon Pettigrew
Dorian “The Trashman” Colbert, Rosterwatch.com
Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew has broken the receptions mark for Lions tight ends for two straight years with 71 and 83 respectively. Some would say that makes for a top tight end in this league, and usually it would. Unfortunately, Pettigrew’s average yards per reception of 9.4 ranks at the bottom of the league for tight ends with 30 or more catches.
Pettigrew is mainly used as a safety valve for QB Matthew Stafford on short underneath routes, which limits the damage he can do. That’s not the end of the story though. Pettigrew leads NFL tight ends in drop percentage over the past three years with a drop rate of 12% of passes thrown his way. Maybe Stafford is on to something.
The additions of receivers Titus Young, and more recently Ryan Broyles, potentially gives Stafford some more reliable options; which doesn’t bode well for Pettigrew either. As he becomes less of a focal point on offense, his number of targets will drop. As his targets drop, so will his amount of receptions that was bolstered by sheer volume of throws. Don’t let his top ten status fool you. Outside of PPR leagues, be wary of Brandon Pettigrew from here on out.