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Pro Football Focus: Taylor Gabriel was the league’s best “screen receiver” in 2016

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Fact: Taylor Gabriel can blink with his eyes closed

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are going to make every effort to re-sign Taylor Gabriel. The dynamic wide receiver didn’t have a job six months ago. Now he’s a priority free agent, albeit one of the “restricted” variety. Ideally the Falcons will quickly give him the Ryan Schraeder treatment and we can all move on with our lives.

Pro Football Focus is rapidly rolling out their off-season content. Today they highlighted some of the league’s best receivers by receiver type. As screen receivers go, Gabriel simply blew away the competition. (Please excuse the lengthy block quote; I couldn’t bear cutting it down.)

Taylor Gabriel is small in stature at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, but he is an explosive player. Aware of Gabriel’s playmaking ability, the Falcons asked him to pick up big chunks on screens, as all 12 of his targets came where the distance to a first down was over 9 yards. Gabriel had a near-perfect receiver rating of 156.3 — highest in the league — when he was targeted on screens. He caught all 12 of his targets for 144 yards (fourth-most) and was the only receiver in the NFL to score more than one touchdown on a screen. Gabriel averaged 15.83 yards after catch on screens, and his two touchdowns came gaining over 25 yards after the catch (29, 40 yards).

Julio Jones gets the nod as the league’s best runner of in/out routes. (He also got honorable mention for best corner/post routes.)

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