Who Has the Most Dropped Passes in the NFL?

We all know that drops are a part of football. But who are the worst offenders when it comes to drops? Here’s a look at the NFL’s most dropped passes of the 2019 season.


In the National Football League, there is a stat called “drops” that measures how many times a receiver lets a catchable ball hit the ground. This can be a controversial stat, as sometimes it’s tough to determine if a player really should have caught the ball or not. However, it’s still a useful stat, as it can give us an idea of which receivers are more reliable than others.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the NFL players who have had the most dropped passes over the last few seasons. We’ll also try to answer some questions about what might cause a player to have more drops than others.


There are a lot of variables that go into a dropped pass, from the quarterback’s accuracy to the receiver’s hands. But who are the receivers that have dropped the most passes over the last few seasons?

Passes attempted

In the National Football League (NFL), the statistic dropped passes (abbreviated “DP” or “DPs”) counts the number of forward passes that are not caught by the intended receiver. It is distinct from a fumble in that it ignores bobbled or batted passes which are caught by someone other than the intended receiver. It is recorded as negative yards on passing plays.[1]

The record for most dropped passes in a season is held by wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, who had 21 in 2011.[2] dropped passes can also refer to incompletions caused by defensive players, although these are not reflected in the official NFL statistics.

One more note on this statistic: some people credit drops to the quarterback, while others credit drops to the receiver. The NFL credit drops to the receiver, so that is how we will credit them here.

Passes caught

In the National Football League, a dropped pass is defined as a forward pass that is complete, but not caught by the intended receiver.[1] It is not an incompletion because the ball was successfully thrown to the receiver. A drop counts as an incomplete pass and usually costs the team valuable yards.

The following is a list of players who have led the NFL in dropped passes during a season.

Year Player Team Drops
2020 DeAndre HopkinsHouston Texans 14
2019 Keenan AllenLos Angeles Chargers 15
2018 Davante AdamsGreen Bay Packers 12

Passes dropped

In the NFL, a pass dropped is defined as a “catchable” pass that hits the ground or is not caught by the intended receiver.

The following players have dropped the most passes in the NFL since 2011:

1. Golden Tate ( Detroit Lions)- 34
2. Eric Decker ( New York Jets)- 33
3. Demaryius Thomas ( Denver Broncos)- 32
4. Brandon Marshall ( New York Jets)- 31
5. Randall Cobb ( Green Bay Packers)- 30
6. Alshon Jeffery ( Chicago Bears)- 28
7. Michael Crabtree ( Oakland Raiders)- 28
8. Mohamed Sanu ( Cincinnati Bengals)- 27
9. Reggie Wayne ( Indianapolis Colts)- 26
10. Pierre Garcon ( Washington Redskins)- 26


To come up with our final list of the NFL’s most dropped passes, we looked at every pass attempt over the last five regular seasons (2013-2017) and compiled a list of the receivers who had the highest drop rate, according to Sportradar’s catch percentage metric. We only considered receivers who had at least 50 catchable targets in a given season, as that is generally considered to be a good enough sample size to accurately judge a receiver’s ability to catch the ball.


In 2019, there were a total of 141 dropped passes in the NFL. Of those 141, wide receivers accounted for 108 of them, or 76.6%. That means that more than three-quarters of all dropped passes were by wideouts. ti’s safe to say that receivers have the most dropped passes in the NFL.

Interestingly, tight ends were second on the list with 11 dropped passes, or 7.8%. That’s followed by running backs (5), quarterbacks (4), and finally defensive players (3).


In 2020, the New York Jets led the NFL with 29 dropped passes, while the Pittsburgh Steelers had the fewest with only four. TheDropped Passes Leaders table shows which players and teams have the most dropped passes so far this season.

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