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Tyler Lockett looking to unseat Doug Baldwin as Seahawks leading receiver

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San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011, Doug Baldwin has unquestionably been the Seattle Seahawks most dangerous receiving threat. However, due to the combination of injuries that have slowed Baldwin down so far in 2018 and the emergence of fourth year receiver Tyler Lockett, this season could end with a new receiving leader at the top of the board for the first time in a long time.

Specifically, here’s a look at the leading receiver for the Seahawks over the past five years one season at a time.

Seahawks leading receiver by season

Season Leading Receiver Yards
Season Leading Receiver Yards
2017 Doug Baldwin 991
2016 Doug Baldwin 1,128
2015 Doug Baldwin 1,069
2014 Doug Baldwin 825
2013 Golden Tate 898

Thus, with four games to go in the 2018 season, Lockett could be the first player not named Doug Baldwin to lead the Hawks in receiving since the season Seattle brought home the Lombardi. To illustrate just how good Baldwin has been during his time with the Seahawks, here are the top ten seasons by yardage for a player in a Seattle uniform.

Best receiving yardage seasons by Seahawks receivers under Pete Carroll

Number Player Year Yds▼
Number Player Year Yds▼
1 Doug Baldwin 2016 1128
2 Doug Baldwin 2015 1069
3 Doug Baldwin 2017 991
4 Jimmy Graham 2016 923
5 Golden Tate 2013 898
6 Doug Baldwin 2014 825
7 Doug Baldwin 2011 788
8 Doug Baldwin 2013 778
9 Mike Williams 2010 751
10 Sidney Rice 2012 748

Through Week 13 of the 2018 season Tyler Lockett is currently at 713 yards, putting him at just 35 and 38 yards behind Mike Williams (2010) and Sidney Rice (2012), respectively.

Thus, it is likely that Rice won’t be on this list for very much longer, and one has to imagine that with Lockett under contract for three more seasons going forward that Mike Williams’ time on the list is also likely to come to a close soon.

Further, any discussion of Lockett’s emergence also digs into the development of second year receiver David Moore and the fact that Baldwin is currently only the team’s third leading receiver through the first three quarters of the season.

With this in mind, and looking at it purely from a business standpoint, one has to ask what is Baldwin’s role moving forward? He turned 30 in September and has been bothered by a lingering knee issue which first popped up during in OTAs in June. Soon to be 31 year old wide receivers who may or may not have had knee surgery during the offseason (when asked whether he had surgery on his knee in August his response was, “depends on your definition of surgery.”) don’t typically command a large amount in free agency, and Baldwin wouldn’t be the first pricy wide receiver coming off a knee injury the Seahawks would have cut during Pete Carroll’s tenure.

So, as the Seahawks storm forward over final four games of the regular season, with Lockett leading the receivers in receptions, yards, touchdowns and catch rate, don’t forget to enjoy the contributions from Baldwin. By no means am I saying that his days are numbered, but there will come a time, whether that be in 2019 or 2029, when he is no longer making plays for the Hawks on the field. We’ve seen the end arrive far sooner than anticipated for many of our favorite players, so be sure to take in all that Baldwin brings, just in case.