What if I told you that you could have a receiver on your team who would net positive yardage almost 100 percent of the time? Let me introduce you to Ahmad Wagner.
Everyone knows the legend of the guy who draws pass interference at an unbelievable rate. But Wagner is much more than that. He’s truly an unguardable target.
After last night, Wagner has been targeted 17 times in his career. He has nine catches and has drawn seven pass interference penalties. That means that 94 percent of the balls thrown his way have been successful. It’s honestly incredible.
What’s even better is he’s not just catching quick screens or short passes. He’s making these plays on mostly deep balls. He finds a way to do something positive on every ball thrown to him.
Never a doubt Ahmad Wagner was coming down with this ball.
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 15, 2019
— Michael Huang (@DrMikeUK) September 15, 2019
These two instances are just a couple examples of the ability Wagner clearly possesses. While he didn’t draw a pass interference penalty last night, I think his touchdown catch was almost assuredly interference ,whether it was called or not.
So here’s what I want to know: why has Wagner only been targeted 17 times? Last night, there wasn’t a Florida defender who could guard him, as evidenced by the above videos. Yet, the Cats only threw the ball his way three times. He caught all three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. On the year, he has nice catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
I understand his catch-to-pass interference rate will drop if he’s thrown the ball more, but Kentucky has to give him more chances. He’s a playmaker at a position of weakness on a sometimes-stagnant offense. Sawyer Smith loves throwing the ball up and letting his receivers make a play. Wagner could become his favorite target if given the chance.
There’s no excuse to only target Wagner three times in the passing game. Smith looks like a solid passer so far and in order to maximize his ability, it would probably help to get the ball to his most unguardable target.