Whereas researching one other article, I began digging into Tyler Lockett’s profession and was reminded of simply how lucky we’re to have him taking part in right here within the Pacific Northwest.
I used to be additionally reminded that it almost didn’t happen.
In the event you don’t have an Instagram account, this 2016 FG article by Danny Kelly offers the complete copy-and-paste of Lockett’s emotional put up. The quick model is that he had some medical doctors on the NFL Combine that advised him he may need to surrender soccer (!!).
Thank the soccer gods he didn’t.
Earlier than studying any additional, I extremely advocate watching this 12-minute video by Ok-State Sports activities: Tyler Lockett | My Story.
Buying Mr. Lockett
Nearly any web site you have a look at will inform you that Tyler Lockett was drafted within the Third spherical of the 2015 NFL Draft, #69 total. Nevertheless, like most issues which might be Lockett-related, it pays to look slightly deeper.
You see, the Seahawks didn’t even have choose #69 within the 2015 draft; they’d choose #95. However they actually wished Tyler Lockett in order that they made a commerce with Washington. To move up 26 spots, the Seahawks despatched 4 picks to the crew from our nation’s capital: #95 (R3), #112 (R4), #167 (R5), and #181 (R6).
The commerce was considerably surprising on the time because it’s often Seattle on the fat-end of a 4-for-1 commerce. Some thought that Seattle gave up an excessive amount of. Others disagreed.
Be aware: In line with the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, Seattle was on the optimistic facet of the commerce by 14.6 factors (245 in, 230.4 out). Those who favor the Rich Hill chart would level out that Seattle ended up on the unfavorable facet by 14 factors (71 in, 85 out).
In fact, given the good thing about hindsight, I feel all would agree that if both crew “misplaced” that commerce, it was not the Seahawks.
For these which might be curious, right here’s what occurred with the picks that Washington obtained from Seattle in that commerce:
2015.R3.95: RB Matt Jones – began 7 of the 20 video games he performed for Washington throughout 2 seasons and had a complete of 1,327 scrimmage yards (950 dashing, 377 receiving) with 7 TDs (6+1). Performed 5 video games for the Colts in 2017 (5 carries, 14 yards). Not within the league.
2015.R4.112: RG Arie Kouandijo – had 2 stints with Washington; took 1 offensive snap in 2015 + 128 in 2016 (stint #1); took 424 offensive snaps in 2017 (stint #2); 66 profession snaps on particular groups. Not within the league.
2015.R4.167: Traded to the New Orleans Saints for choose #187 and a 2016 R6.
2015.R6.181: S Kyshoen Jarrett – performed all 16 video games for Washington in 2015 with 6 begins. Didn’t make an lively roster in 2016. Not within the league.
2015.R6.187: WR Evan Spencer – launched on closing reduce with harm designation; signed to Tampa Bay’s observe squad; activated for 1 recreation in 2015. Not within the league.
2016.R6.187: QB Nate Sudfeld – was Washington’s Third-string QB in 2015 (inactive all 16 video games); waived September 2017 and signed to Philly’s observe squad; threw a complete of 37 passes for the Eagles, finishing 25 for 188 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. At the moment on San Francisco’s roster with Jimmy G, Trey Lance, and Josh Rosen.
Lockett’s rookie season
It took Tyler Lockett (aka NoE) no time in any respect to make an impression within the NFL.
- Preseason kickoff returns: 7 for 262 yards (avg. 37.4); 1 landing
- Preseason punt returns: 4 for 105 yards (avg. 26.3); 1 landing
To offer that some context, there have been 7 return touchdowns league-wide in the course of the 2015 preseason and Tyler Lockett had 2 of them.
The kickoff return landing got here within the very first preseason recreation, in opposition to the Broncos. It was a 103-yard return that began on one facet of the sphere and ended with Lockett sprinting down the other sideline.
Lockett’s second return landing got here the next week in opposition to San Diego. This one will get 2 hyperlinks:
- Link #1 is an extremely-super-excellent Seahawks.com article (with field-level video).
- Link #2 is a video of the punt return set to Mario Kart music.
2 preseason video games = 2 return TDs = league on discover
After which it obtained actual. FAST.
Week 1, 2015: Seahawks at Rams
Seattle obtained the ball first however their drive stalled on the Rams’ 40 after a dozen performs (one in all them a 7-yard catch by Lockett).
The Rams took over at their 12 and went backwards.
Going through 4th and 20 from their 2, the Rams despatched of their punter. He eyed the Hawks’ rookie returner. Personally, I wish to image Johnny “The Faker” Hekker smiling and considering to himself that the teen can be pleased with a good catch round Seattle’s 40 yard line.
57 yards later, Lockett was in the end zone (<- – click on for video).
Apparently, that was the one punt-return landing Lockett had that season. And it stays the one one in his profession. Nevertheless it was nonetheless a heck of a primary impression.
Lockett ended that first recreation with 153 all-purpose yards, together with 4 catches on 4 targets for 34 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 56 yards, and a pair of punt returns for 63 yards.
Week 3, 2015: Bears at Seahawks
Seattle held the Bears scoreless within the first half however solely had a pair of area targets and a 6-0 lead as they headed to the locker room. After the break, Lockett lined up deep to take the second half kickoff.
105 yards later, Lockett was in the end zone (<- – click on for video).
6 years later, that’s nonetheless a Seahawks file – and given latest rule adjustments, it’s a file which will final without end.
Week 14, 2015: Seahawks at Ravens
Recent off a 7-of-7-for-90 efficiency in Minnesota, Lockett had the very best receiving recreation of his rookie season, catching 6 passes on 7 targets for 104 yards (17.3 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns.
Week 17, 2015: Cardinals at Seahawks
Lockett ended the season the identical means he began it – by turning heads. In a wire-to-wire (36-6) victory over the division-leading Cardinals, Seattle’s rookie phenom fielded 4 punts and turned them right into a crew file 139 return yards; a mean of 34.75 yards per punt.
Tyler Lockett was the one participant from the 2015 draft to earn 1st-Group All-Professional honors his rookie yr and earned a Pro Bowl invite as the NFC’s return specialist.
The Lockett Rocket was named the NFC Particular Groups Participant of the Month twice.
He set a lot of team records in 2015, together with:
- Longest kickoff return, profession: 105
- Most kick return yards, rookie season: 1,231
- Most kickoff return yards, rookie season: 852
- Highest kickoff return common, rookie season (min. 25 makes an attempt): 25.8
- Most punt return yards, recreation: 139
- Most all-purpose yards, rookie season: 1,915
Tyler Lockett’s 6 receiving touchdowns made him the second rookie in league history to have a kickoff return landing, a punt return landing, and at the least 5 receiving touchdowns. The primary, and solely different one was Hall of Famer Gale Sayers 50 years earlier (in 1965).
Final, however not least …
Amongst receivers with 50 or extra targets in 2015, Lockett was #2 within the league with a QB passer ranking of 133.5.
For what it’s price, the image under exhibits Tyler Lockett celebrating a landing with the huge receiver that completed the season at #1.
By most measures, 2016 was a considerably disappointing yr for Lockett.
Statistically, he took a small step backward:
- Receiving: 41 of 66 for 597 (10 fewer catches; 3 fewer targets; 67 fewer yards)
- Punt returns: 29 for 243 (11 fewer returns; 136 fewer yards)
- Kickoff returns: 23 for 606 (10 fewer returns; 246 fewer yards; lengthy of 46)
It isn’t the statistics that stand out about 2016 although. For me, it’s 2 performs. One superb play, and one which was, nicely, additionally superb – aside from the actually, REALLY unhealthy ending.
Week 13, 2016: Panthers at Seahawks
Seattle obtained the ball first to start out the second half, comfortably forward by a rating of 23-7 in a recreation they might find yourself successful 40-7. First and 10 from the Seattle 25.
Tyler Lockett went in movement and . . . buh-bye. (<- – click on for video)
That continues to be the longest run of Lockett’s profession – by a snug margin (#2 is a 22-yarder the next yr). It additionally ended up being tied for the second-longest landing run within the league that season.
Warning: don’t click on the hyperlink on this one when you’re squeamish.
Week 16, 2016: Cardinals at Seahawks
With the Seahawks down 14-0 and slightly over three minutes left within the first half, Wilson lofted a 28-yard go to Lockett and in fact Tyler Lockett made the catch. Sadly, Lockett additionally broke his leg on the play (both the tibia and the fibula).
That offseason was filled with questions on how lengthy Lockett can be out and what he can be like if/when he returned.
The truth that Lockett returned from the damaged leg and performed all 16 video games in 2017 is a severe testomony to his willpower.
By no means thoughts that NoE ended the 2017 season with a career-low 555 receiving yards. That complete was nonetheless good for #3 on the crew (35 yards forward of Jimmy Graham, on 12 fewer catches and 25 fewer targets).
Apart from, Lockett had an NFL-leading 949 kickoff return yards, together with a 99-yard touchdown return (<- – click on for video).
- The KR-TD got here in Week 17 in Seattle (Lockett was injured within the closing house recreation the earlier season);
- The KR-TD got here in opposition to the Cardinals (the identical crew Lockett broke his leg in opposition to);
- Lockett obtained the ball in entrance of the south finish zone (the one he was injured in); and
- The KR-TD began on the 1-yard line (which is the place the ball was positioned after Lockett broke his leg)
Seattle completed the 2017 season with a 9-7 file and missed the playoffs for the primary time (and up to now solely time) within the Russell Wilson period. However Lockett’s kickoff return lifted our spirits and despatched us into the offseason realizing that NoE was lastly again to 100%.
The 2018 season might someday be often known as 1BDK – i.e. the yr earlier than Seattle drafted DK Metcalf. Nevertheless it in all probability shouldn’t be.
Even when Metcalf someday breaks Calvin Johnson’s file for single-season receiving yards (1,964) and/or finally tops Jerry Rice’s profession mark of twenty-two,895 receiving yards . . . I really feel assured in saying that DK will by no means, ever, EVER do what Tyler Lockett did in 2018.
And, no, I’m not speaking in regards to the 3-year, $31.8M contract extension ($20M assured) that Lockett signed simply earlier than the season began.
I’m speaking about what Lockett did that nobody else had ever finished – or actually even imagined was potential.
Right here’s Lockett’s stat line from the 2018 season:
- 57 receptions
- 70 targets
- 965 receiving yards
- 10 touchdowns
Nothing particular, proper?
Amongst his friends, that is the place these numbers ranked in 2018:
- #57 in receptions (with 57)
- Tied for #84 in targets (with 70)
- #23 in yards (with 965)
- Tied for #6 in TDs (with 10)
Granted, the receptions, the yards, and the touchdowns have been all profession highs on the time; however Lockett has had extra receptions, extra targets, and extra yards every season since then – and he matched the ten touchdowns final yr.
So why did Professional Soccer Speak known as Lockett’s 2018 season “one of many biggest huge receiver seasons in NFL historical past”?
Bear in mind what I mentioned about digging deeper with Lockett?
Per Soccer Outsiders, Lockett’s DVOA (Protection-Adjusted Worth Over Common) was 66.3% in 2018. That was spectacular for two causes:
One. Tyler Lockett’s DVOA in 2018 was larger than the #2 wideout (LAC’s Mike Williams, 39.2%) and the #3 wideout (TB’s Mike Evans, 25.2%) mixed.
Two. Lockett’s DVOA was the very best DVOA for any WR in Soccer Outsiders’ HISTORY (courting again to 1986; min. 50 targets).
Maybe you like Protection-Adjusted Yards Above Substitute (DYAR) over DVOA since DYAR favors quantity over common.
Now, intuitively, it might appear to work in opposition to Tyler Lockett that he solely had 70 targets in 2018. Significantly when you think about that there have been 28 receivers with 100+ targets that season, together with Julio Jones, Stefon Diggs, Michael Thomas, OBJ, and Tyreek Hill.
9 of the 28 had greater than twice as many targets as Lockett. A type of 9 receivers was DeAndre Hopkins. He had 163 targets in 2018 and his DYAR that yr was 455.
Just one receiver had a better DYAR in 2018.
Head spinning but?
How’s about a couple of extra stats?
- Lockett’s catch price in 2018 was a career high 81.4%
- NoE had ZERO drops the complete season – together with the playoffs
- His 16.9 yards per reception in 2018 was / nonetheless is his profession excessive (by 2.3 yards)
- Per Stathead.com, Lockett’s common yards per goal (13.8) was the highest season complete for a wideout since 1920 (min. 60 targets)
- The Seattle Occasions nicknamed him “The Contact King” as a result of he led the league in go interference yardage
One final stat . . .
Russell Wilson’s passer ranking when concentrating on Tyler Lockett was a perfect 158.3 that yr.
I’ll let NFL Operations inform you how outstanding that’s.
So what do you suppose? Was PFT appropriate once they mentioned that Tyler Lockett had one of the greatest wide receiver seasons in NFL history?
How do you prime the season that Lockett had in 2018?
The quick, instinctual, reply is, “You don’t.”
However . . . as was talked about earlier . . . with Lockett, it pays to look slightly deeper:
- 2019 receptions: 82 – this represents a 43.9% enhance over his earlier career-high of 57
- 2019 targets: 110 – Lockett’s earlier career-high was 71, making this a 55% enhance
- 2019 receiving yards: 1,057 – Lockett’s first time over 1,000 yards; his earlier career-high was 965 the earlier yr
- 2019 first downs: 53 – a 32.5% enhance over Lockett’s earlier career-high (40)
- 2019 passer ranking when focused: 125.9 – not good, however nonetheless exceptionally good; Lockett was #3 within the league amongst receivers with at the least 50 targets
Lockett’s 2019 season was not with out some drama although.
After downing a kick on the finish of regulation within the Seahawks’ Week 10 matchup with the 9ers in Santa Clara, Tyler Lockett went to the locker room . . . after which he went to the hospital.
Initially, there was some concern that he may want surgery . . .
The excellent news, in fact, is that Lockett was okay.
The difficulty that stored him within the hospital for a few days subsided and Jody Allen flew him back to Seattle on her airplane – which he thought was each cool and dope.
I assumed that was dope,” he said. “They didn’t have to try this in any respect. The truth that they did it, I assumed that was actually cool and actually considerate. It exhibits how a lot they care about you as an individual and the way they honestly need the very best for you. That’s what I like in regards to the group. They’ve all the time taken care of me in each single factor that I’ve finished.”
As a result of the Seahawks had their bye the next weekend, Lockett didn’t miss a single recreation.
On a facet be aware, NoE’s well being scare supplied a uncommon glimpse into how a lot of a “household” the NFL is / will be – even among division rivals.
Quick ahead to the top of the season:
- Zero well being scares
- A franchise-record 100 receptions
- 1,054 receiving yards (a mere 3 yards under his 2019 career-high)
- 10 touchdowns, together with THIS ONE (<- – click on for video)
- QB passer ranking of 119.6 when focused
- 75.8% catch price.
Be aware: I’m intentionally selecting to not spend a ton of time on Yr 6 since we’re just a few months faraway from the 2020 season and I’m fairly positive everybody right here remembers how superior Tyler Lockett was.
It’s simpler than a few of us wish to admit to miss a participant like Tyler Lockett; to take his contributions to the crew with no consideration; to not respect how completely stellar he has been for the reason that Seahawks chosen him with the 69th choose within the 2015 NFL Draft.
However, as opposing groups, Defensive Coordinators, and Particular Groups coaches can attest, overlooking Tyler Lockett is a mistake.
Admittedly, it’s a mistake that I typically make myself.
Fortunately, John and Pete didn’t overlook him.
And never solely did they not overlook him, they did what it took to get him within the 2015 draft, they’ve persistently set him up for fulfillment, and, together with his most up-to-date extension, Lockett is now tied to the team through 2025.
Because the offseason drags on and the 2021 season approaches, I assumed it might be good to take a while to point out a little bit of appreciation for Tyler Lockett – a participant who I consider could possibly be on his approach to someday becoming a member of Steve Largent (et al.) within the Seahawks Ring of Honor.