WR Grade: B
Sep 13, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins kick returner Stefon Diggs (1) is pursued by West Virginia Mountaineers special teams player Dayron Wilson (25) at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Once again, another confusing aspect of the Terrapins is the reality that Maryland’s QB performance is directly correlated with the receiver’s grade. The two are yin-and-yang here, and the two need to be harmonious in order to properly thrive. With all that said, at what point do you have to acknowledge that projections are just that — projections. At what point does a player become the numbers that they have put up?
Despite the notion that Stefon Diggs needs to be even more involved in the Maryland offense, numbers wise he has never been more involved. Diggs is averaging 5.7 receptions per game, which is a career high (his average is 4.9). Now his yards per catch are down significantly (13.53 compared to an average of 16), but the routes Diggs has been running haven’t really been big play routes. Even so, that’s far from a bad number.
It can be argued that Diggs isn’t doing enough, but Diggs is coming off a broken leg. There was always going to be some measure of in-season recovery. Coach Edsall went out and said the receivers needed to help out the QB more, and he’s actually correct in some respects. Criticism of Diggs has been scant, but rewatching the WVU game, I saw a couple routes that seemingly ended a little earlier than they could have.
The same can be said for Deon Long. His receptions per game are down from last year (4.6) to now (3.3) and his yards per catch (~13) are also down from last year (~15.5). Deon Long was clearly frustrated by some of the passes he’s been thrown, and there is absolutely precedent for that angst. Still, either the receivers go ape every play to help C.J. or C.J. gets more accurate to help the receivers.
Marcus Leak had two touchdown passes and 72 yards against a really bad South Florida team, and his 109 yards are encouraging. He looks like he is almost fully acclimated into the offense, and there should be a bit more from him as a possession guy moving forward.
One thing that is noticeable is there’s still some rust on the offense. The receivers occasionally line up incorrectly, as we saw against West Virginia in the first quarterer when C.J. Brown threw his interception. Sure the ball was deflected but it was also a result of the receivers lining up in trips and then literally running into one another.