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Brandon Lloyd: The NFL's Leading Receiver in 2010

One town has altered the landscape of America over the last few years, producing an American Idol, a humble and amazing blogger, and the NFL’s leading receiver in 2010.  Brandon Lloyd has been in the league now since 2003, and his career best season was 48 catches and 733 yards for a bad San Francisco team in 2005.  At age 29, he has almost reached that total (589 receiving yards) after five games.  After three seasons of wandering the league in which he had 36 total catches, he has found a home in Denver playing in Josh McDaniels’ system, and catching passes from Kyle Orton.

How rare is it for a wide receiver to have a breakout season at age 29 or older, like Lloyd?  Well, not as rare as I would have thought.  Here is the list of wide receivers who had their first 1,000 yard receiving season at 29 or older, since 1960.  I also list the number of additional 1,000 yard seasons for these older breakouts.

year first last age rec yds 1000 yd seasons
1995 Brett Perriman 30 1488 1
1995 Tony Martin 30 1224 3
1964 Johnny Morris 29 1200 0
2001 Troy Brown 30 1199 0
1985 Drew Hill 29 1169 4
1979 Ahmad Rashad 30 1156 1
2007 Bobby Engram 34 1147 0
1964 Elbert Dubenion 31 1139 0
2007 Kevin Curtis 29 1110 0
1999 Qadry Ismail 29 1105 1
1995 Quinn Early 30 1087 0
2006 Mike Furrey 30 1086 0
2004 Eddie Kennison 31 1086 1
1979 Frank Lewis 32 1082 1
2006 TJ Houshmandzadeh 29 1081 1
1989 Mervyn Fernandez 30 1069 0
1976 Charlie Joiner 29 1056 3
1998 Ed McCaffrey 30 1053 2
1998 OJ McDuffie 29 1050 0
2001 Willie Jackson 30 1046 0
1993 Reggie Langhorne 30 1038 0
1998 Rocket Ismail 29 1024 1
1981 Freddie Scott 29 1022 0
1990 Stephone Paige 29 1021 0
1986 JT Smith 31 1014 1
1991 Irving Fryar 29 1010 4

We have some great names from the past on that list, including some guys who turned out to be one-hit wonders, like Mervyn Fernandez and Mike Furrey.  We”ve also got one guy who was (dubiously in my opinion) selected to the Hall of Fame in Joiner, and others who experienced a career revival as they entered their 30’s.  Half of the late breakouts would go on to have at least one more 1,000 yard season.  Given the quality of his roots, I think you have to like Lloyd’s chances.

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