Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

PFF names 49ers’ Trent Taylor as best slant-route receiver

Nov 15, 2017 at 9:26 AM--

For the second-straight year, Pro Football Focus named the best NFL players across a variety of categories. The list, which utilizes the site's unique analytics data to determine the players, was presented on ESPN.

Just one member of the San Francisco 49ers appeared on the list and, like much of the roster, he is a rookie. The player isn't one of the team's first-round selections, but one of its later-round picks.

The listing fell under the category of "Best pass-catcher by route, " and the specific route was the slant. The 49ers player is rookie receiver Trent Taylor, who has played in the slot in over 75-percent of his routes.

Pro Football Focus explains the selection like this:

"It'd be easy to go with Dez Bryant, who gained the most yards on slant routes and did so from the outside receiver position. But Taylor's nine receptions on nine slant targets and 148.6 passer rating generated are hard to ignore. The rookie led the nation in yards gained from the slot in his last season at Louisiana Tech and has continued to produce for the 49ers this season with all nine of his slant catches coming from the slot. He has been the league's top wideout on slant targets this season."

While Taylor may be Pro Football Focus' top slant-route receiver, JuJu Snith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers was named as the most dominant receiver in the slot.

Taylor's catch rate in the slot ranks 14th in the NFL, but he has just two drops compared to 20 receptions this season while working at the position. Ironically, former 49ers wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, whom the team released in favor of younger players like Taylor, leads NFL receivers in catch rate out of the slot position.

This season, Taylor has 24 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown. He was a fifth-round selection out of Louisiana Tech, where he had 136 catches for 1,803 yards and 12 touchdowns through 14 games during his senior year.

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