Best hands in NFL? Numbers say Meachem

Who’s got the best hands in the NFC South? Heck, let’s go ahead and make the question for the whole NFL.

The answer probably will shock you. At least by one mathematical compilation, the answer is New Orleans’ Robert Meachem. It’s a pretty simple formula, really. Just take the number of targets and the number of receptions and come up with the catch percentage.

Meachem is at 80 percent (54 targets and 43 receptions). That puts him slightly ahead of Jacksonville’s Mike Thomas (79 percent) and New England’s Wes Welker (78 percent). Meachem is the only NFC South receiver in the top 10, provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

One other impressive stat about Meachem is that he leads the league in yards per target, including only receivers that have been targeted at least 50 times. Meachem is averaging 13.14 yards per target, almost two full yards ahead of Hakeem Nicks, who ranks second. New Orleans’ Marques Colston also ranks 10th on the list, averaging 10.29 yards per target.

Going back to catch percentage and flipping it over to guys who have shown bad hands, Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant has been targeted 77 times, but has only 37 receptions. That’s a 48-percent catch rate, which ties him for No. 8 on the list of worst catch percentage. In case you’re interested, Oakland’s Louis Murphy has the league’s worst catch percentage at 33 percent.