Does Stefon Diggs make quarterbacks better wherever he goes?

Stephen A. Smith said Stefon Diggs makes any quarterback better, but is there evidence to support that?
Houston Texans v Buffalo Bills
Houston Texans v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

Stefon Diggs is a member of the Houston Texans, giving the team a premiere wide receiver to pair with the likes of Nico Collins and Tank Dell. The trio just became the most watched in the NFL as they'll have one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in C.J. Stroud, throwing them the ball. The four of them are going to have huge expectations for the entire season. And why wouldn't they?

Dell looked like a star before his injury, Collins had a breakout season, Stroud was a Pro Bowler and Diggs had yet another huge year in Buffalo with Josh Allen throwing him the ball. Diggs is a huge get for the Texans. So huge, that Stephen A. Smith has gone on the record to say that Diggs makes every quarterback he's played with better

Now, that's a bold statement, and one that on the surface may be true, but is it? Can we really expect Stroud to be infinitely better due to Diggs' arrival? Let's find out.

Diggs entered the NFL in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings. It was still Adrian Petereson's team, as he rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Teddy Bridgewater threw for 3,241 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. That year he'd go to the Pro Bowl, and Diggs was his leading receiver with 730 yards.

That said, Bridgewater's 2014 campaign was eerily similar to his 2015 campaign, and he'd arguably have an even better season in 2021 as a member of the Denver Broncos. So we can say for sure Diggs didn't make Bridgewater better, but he did help.

Throughout the next three years, he'd have three different quarterbacks; Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, and Kirk Cousins.

In those three seasons, he'd go from 903 yards to 849 yards to finally 1,021 yards with Bradford, Keenum, and Cousins respectively.

Bradford's time in Minnesota was the best of his career, as was Keenum, but as Diggs wasn't putting up monster numbers, it's fair to say he didn't elevate either player so much as the system did.

As for Cousins, he finally broke 1,000 with Cousins, but he's as consistent as you get and has had better seasons since Diggs left Minnesota.

Now, there's no doubt that Diggs helped contribute to the improvement that Josh Allen made in Buffalo. While a good quarterback without him, Allen got a lot more accurate with him. It's fair to say that the system that Allen was running in Buffalo and the coaching he got also helped, but Diggs did help the Bills passing game make a marketed improvement.

Yet, is this more of a situation where Allen took the leap and Diggs benefited from it, or did Diggs help Allen be better than he was supposed to be? We'll find that out in 2024, but the notion that Diggs makes quarterbacks better every time is statistically not true.

He's a heck of a player, but Stephen A. Smith spoke with a lot of hyperbolic intention when he said what he said.