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Contextualization Of 89 Of Ryan Switzer’s 2016 North Carolina Pass Targets

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded for wide receiver Ryan Switzer on Monday and initially the former fourth-round draft pick out of North Carolina will be primarily used as a punt and kickoff returner. Switzer, however, will also be the Steelers backup slot wide receiver at some point and I’m sure efforts are already underway to get him up to speed with the offensive playbook. With that in mind, it’s time to look at what kind of slot wide receiver the Steelers have in Switzer.

Switzer wasn’t used extensively on offense during his rookie 2017 season with the Dallas Cowboys so it’s probably better to go back and look at a large body of his work from his 2016 season at North Carolina.

During that 2016 season, Switzer caught 96 passes for 1,112 yards and 6 touchdowns. Below is a contextualization of 89 of his targets from that 2016 season and that group of plays includes 67 of 96 total receptions on the season from eight different games.

Each play in the table below includes specific data such as quarter, time, down, distance, spot on field, pass direction, pass air distance and yards gained after the catch. I have also added a brief context description of each pass attempt and each is linked to a video of the play for you to see.

It’s now worth noting that of the 67 receptions that Switzer had in 2016 that I have contextualized below for you that 24 of them were short passes that were caught either behind the original line of scrimmage or right at it. 12 of his other receptions were made within 1-5 yards of the original line of scrimmage. 19 other receptions of his came more than 10 yards past the original line of scrimmage.

Some other notes from these 89 targets from 2016:

Switzer doesn’t have a huge catch radius and you won’t see him make any spectacular catches in any of these plays below. Balls that are not right on target he has trouble catching. He did have a few drops, but overall he is sure-handed. You also won’t find any combative catches in the contextualized plays below as that’s not his game. He’s a quick player off the line and appears to be an above-average and knowledgeable route runner.

In these 67 catches that I was able to contextualize of Switzer’s from the 2016 season he averaged 4.9 yards after the catch. Do remember, however, that a lot of that YAC began behind the original line of scrimmage.

The below contextualization should give you a very good idea as to exactly the kind of slot wide receiver the Steelers now have in Switzer.

QRT TIME DOWN DIST SIDE LOS RES DIR YDS PDIST YAC CONTEXT & LINK
1 10:40 3 5 UNC 33 C SM 4 -3 7 WR screen to left MOF
1 4:23 1 10 UNC 23 C SWR 1 -1 2 WR screen right sideline
1 2:45 1 5 UNC 45 I DM 0 48 Deep slot post under-thrown
2 2:30 1 10 UNC 43 C SWL 0 -1 1 Short comeback left side
3 6:48 1 10 UGA 44 C SM 23 10 13 MOF in-breaking route from right slot
4 12:55 3 2 UNC 37 C SWR 4 3 1 Short out route right side
4 11:58 2 5 UNC 46 I DM 0 30 Deep slot post under-thrown
4 2:33 1 10 UNC 34 C SWR 9 2 7 Short out route right side
4 2:08 1 10 UNC 45 C SIL 11 11 0 Curl route left MOF
2 12:33 1 10 UNC 9 C SIR 58 -2 60 WR screen right side
2 6:08 1 10 UNC 26 C SIL 12 -3 15 WR screen left side
2 4:05 1 10 PITT 34 C SIL 3 -2 5 WR screen left side
2 3:12 2 7 PITT 19 C DWL 19 24 0 Slot post/corner TD
3 10:11 2 9 UNC 26 C SIL 45 12 33 long slant from right slot
3 2:09 1 10 UNC 25 C SWL 13 6 7 Out route left side from slot
4 13:52 3 2 UNC 30 I SIL 0 2 Quick out left side low
4 10:34 1 10 UNC 21 C SIL -2 -3 1 WR screen left side
4 9:30 3 17 UNC 14 C SIL 10 -1 11 WR screen left side
4 6:42 3 15 PITT 38 C SM 12 12 0 MOF curl
4 6:10 4 3 PITT 26 C SWR 3 2 1 Quick out route to right
4 2:40 4 6 UNC 41 C SM 15 14 1 Skinny post MOF
4 2:16 1 10 PITT 44 C SIR 4 4 0 Short curl to right side
4 1:32 2 21 PITT 38 C SIL 5 -2 7 WR screen to left side
4 1:02 3 16 PITT 33 C SIL 7 7 0 Short curl left side
4 0:51 4 9 PITT 26 C SIL 9 9 0 High sit-down left MOF
1 5:00 1 10 UNC 49 C SM 7 -3 10 Pitch forward jet seeep
2 14:30 2 10 FSU 40 C SIR 7 -6 13 WR screen right side
2 14:15 3 3 FSU 33 C SWR 5 4 1 Quick out route to right
2 9:40 1 10 UNC 21 C SWR 6 5 1 Quick out route to right
2 8:50 3 2 UNC 29 C SIL 31 4 27 Quick rub out route to left
2 8:30 1 10 FSU 40 C DM 33 16 17 Deep MOF post seam
2 4:00 1 10 UNC 37 C SIR 3 -2 5 WR screen right side
2 2:14 2 7 FSU 47 C SWR 8 6 2 Quick out route to right
2 1:15 2 G FSU 2 I SIR 0 9 Quick slant EZ low/behind
3 14:50 1 10 UNC 25 C SIR 6 -5 11 WR screen right side
3 9:00 2 10 UNC 25 I SM 0 10 Tipped MOF slant pass after bad snap
3 8:09 3 9 FSU 27 C SM 11 10 1 Skinny post MOF
4 4:50 1 10 UNC 25 C SIL 15 -5 20 WR screen left side
4 3:57 2 18 UNC 32 C SWL 10 8 2 Short slot corner route right side
4 3:19 3 8 UNC 42 C SIR 13 8 5 Short slot corner route left side
4 0:09 1 10 UNC 48 I DM 0 25 Deep post over-thrown
1 12:50 3 1 VT 33 C SIR 0 -3 3 WR screen right side
1 10:34 1 10 UNC 12 I SM 0 8 MOF too high
2 0:48 3 5 UNC 41 I SWL 0 6 Slot rub out route left dropped
3 14:18 3 2 UNC 33 C SIL 2 2 0 Quick rub out route to left
3 12:06 3 8 UNC 27 I SWL 0 2 Slot rub out route left dropped
3 4:53 3 7 VT 40 I SM 0 3 Short MOF off target
3 0:52 3 11 VT 20 I DM 0 22 Deep post MOF defended
1 12:45 2 9 UNC 43 I SWR 0 15 Deep slot corner batted away
1 5:19 1 10 UNC 20 C SIR 3 -2 5 WR screen right side
1 3:14 1 10 MIAMI 23 C SWL 3 -3 6 WR screen left side
2 11:35 1 10 MIAMI 37 C SIR -3 -3 0 WR screen right side
2 11:02 3 15 MIAMI 42 I DIR 0 20 QB flushed low throw
2 0:18 3 G MIAMI 1 C SWL 1 3 0 Short slot corner route left side TD
3 14:50 1 10 UNC 25 I SM 0 14 Skinny post MOF throw behind
3 13:56 1 10 UNC 38 C SM 0 0 0 WR screen right side
3 10:11 1 10 UNC 37 C SIL 4 -3 7 WR screen left side
3 3:28 1 10 UNC 25 C SIR 0 -3 3 WR screen right side
4 11:55 2 4 UNC 26 I SM 0 14 Skinny post MOF throw behind
4 6:08 1 10 UNC 41 I SWL 0 4 Sideline throw off target
4 5:31 3 5 UNC 46 C SWL 6 6 0 Quick out route to left diving catch
4 5:00 1 10 MIAMI 48 C SIR 3 -5 8 WR screen right side
2 10:38 3 6 UNC 29 C SIR 11 11 0 Short slot corner route right side
2 10:38 2 14 GT 48 C SIR 15 11 4 Deep curl right side
0:33 1 10 UNC 20 I DWR 0 43 Deep go right sideline contested
3 8:38 2 7 UNC 25 C DWR 22 19 3 Short slot corner route right side
3 4:03 1 10 GT 33 C SIR 2 -3 5 WR screen right side
2 15:00 3 7 UNC 23 C SIL 28 13 15 Slot corner left side
2 15:00 1 10 NCST 49 C SWR 3 3 0 Quick out route to right
2 10:27 1 10 UNC 26 I SIL 0 -2 WR screen left side off target
2 10:27 3 6 UNC 30 C SIL 5 5 0 Short curl left side
2 8:16 2 1 NCST 4 C SIR 4 12 0 Short slot slant TD left to right
2 6:53 1 10 UNC 34 I SM 0 -3 WR screen left MOF dropped
3 8:16 1 10 UNC 44 C SWR 4 4 0 Quick out route to right
3 1:13 1 10 UNC 7 C SWR 11 9 2 Quick out route to right
3 1:13 1 10 UNC 18 C SM 12 12 0 MOF in-breaking route
4 15:00 3 26 UNC 30 C DM 45 45 0 Deep post blown QB time
4 15:00 1 10 NCST 25 C DWL 18 17 1 Slot corner left side
4 10:25 3 11 UNC 38 C SIL 8 8 0 Short curl left side
4 6:53 2 15 UNC 13 C SIL 15 11 4 MOF in-breaking option route
4 6:53 2 20 UNC 49 I SWR 0 2 Thrown away right sideline
1 11:20 2 10 UNC 45 I DWR 0 23 Deep slot corner L-R over-thrown
1 8:58 1 10 STAN 19 C DIR 19 23 0 Slot corner/post TD
3 13:45 2 11 UNC 41 C DWR 28 28 0 Deep right side comeback QB time
3 9:30 1 10 UNC 36 C SIL 11 11 0 Slot second level in-breaking
4 11:29 2 9 STAN 27 I DIL 0 24 Deep corner/post MOF defended
4 3:05 1 10 UNC 25 C SIL 0 -1 1 WR screen left side
4 1:02 1 10 STAN 28 I DM 0 28 Deep corner/post MOF dropped
4 0:45 3 10 STAN 28 C DM 27 27 0 Deep post MOF
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