We have talked a lot about DK Metcalf this season, and justifiably so. The Seattle Seahawks rookie had a great rookie year and figures to be an important part of the offense for years to come, but let’s not forget about what Tyler Lockett accomplished in 2019.
I had some doubts about Lockett a couple of years back. He was one of my Seahawks who had the most to prove entering the 2018 season, and I don’t think I was necessarily wrong in my assessment. A promising rookie campaign gave way to an underwhelming 2016 (followed by a horrifying broken leg), and a 2017 in which he was often not on the same page with Russell Wilson, and was dealing with other nagging injuries that slowed him down.
Lockett’s 2018 was historically great, with 57 catches on 70 targets for nearly 1,000 yards receiving and a career-high 10 touchdowns. The Wilson to Lockett combo was as efficient as any single-season QB-to-WR pairing in NFL history.
With Doug Baldwin’s injury-forced retirement, Lockett had to assume the role of unquestioned #1 WR status for 2019, meaning he’d have the majority of the passing targets for the first time in his career. I’d say any remaining doubt about what he’s capable of has been removed.
The former Kansas State star caught a career-high 82 passes on 110 targets, gained 1,057 yards and scored 8 touchdowns in the regular season. I didn’t even mention his 9 catches for 136 yards and a TD against the Green Bay Packers last week, all of which were postseason bests and among the best showings we’ve ever seen from a Seahawks WR in the playoffs. I think we can all agree that he could’ve had even better statistics if not for the leg bruise he suffered in the first meeting with the San Francisco 49ers, which along with the flu bug led to a mini-slump for a three-game stretch.
In his first full year as Wilson’s preferred receiving option, Lockett finished 4th in DYAR and 7th in DVOA, so while it may be a dropoff from his incredible 2018 (in which he was #1 in DVOA and DYAR), it’s to be expected given 2018 wasn’t sustainable and he’s getting the opposition’s top corners more often now.
Much like Baldwin, Lockett is a terrific route runner with reliable hands, sideline awareness, and a special connection with Wilson on those famous scramble drills. When Wilson is on the run and Lockett is the target, defenses just don’t have an answer. I mean, how can you have an answer for something like this?
You may have noticed that Lockett’s yards per reception were down this year, but I’m not worried about it. Lockett has shown himself to be a valuable possession receiver and not just predominantly an intermediate and long-range target. He has developed his skills wonderfully at a time when Russell Wilson has also turned into a legitimate MVP candidate.
I think there are valid concerns about the current depth of the Seahawks receiving corps, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Lockett-Metcalf duo is on track to be one of the league’s best in the long-term.