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Doug Baldwin never left. He possessed Tyler Lockett instead

Statistically, they’re clones

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Doug Baldwin, Jr.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on Seattle Seahawks fans, Doug Baldwin retired in 2019, and then never left. It’s scandalous, really. Because when Baldwin stepped away, Tyler Lockett took over exactly where his teammate left off. And I do mean exactly. With a little too much precision, collecting more than a couple crazy coincidences.

It’s eerie. Uncanny. Preposterous, is how Stephen A. Smith would describe the statistical phenomenon that binds Doug and Ty. We up here in the Northwesternerest corner have long known they were both capable of WR1 production, even as the rest of the country ignored their elite efficiency in favor of splashy fantasy numbers from the second-tier pass-catcher du jour. But what you probably didn’t know yet is how interchangeable the career production of Baldwin and Lockett turned out.

Through seven seasons — brace yourself — these are their numbers:


Doug Baldwin . Tyler Lockett
Doug Baldwin . Tyler Lockett
110 Games 111
443 Receptions 449
5945 Yards 6067
45 TD 44

Want averages? I got averages. Spooky averages.

Law of Averages

Doug Baldwin . Tyler Lockett
Doug Baldwin . Tyler Lockett
4.03 Rec/game 4.05
54 Yards/game 54.6
13.4 Yards/rec 13.5

They’re the same receiver through seven years, superficially at least.

When you explore past just the basic numbers, Lockett gains a slight statistical edge. His catch rate is 71.8 to Baldwin’s 68.3. Since he catches everything, Lockett outdoes Baldwin in yards/target, one of my favorite WR stats, 9.7 to 9.2.

It’s important here to mention just how uncommon 10 yards per target is. A list of career yds/tgt for various veteran megastar receivers:

  • Deebo Samuel 10.6
  • Julio Jones 9.7
  • Tyreek Hill 9.4
  • Cooper Kupp 9.2
  • Travis Kelce 9.1
  • Stefon Diggs 8.5
  • DeAndre Hopkins 8.3
  • Davante Adams 8.0

It’s not easy to sustain anything above 9. For his career, Lockett has been a miniature version of Julio Jones and Baldwin is looking straight across at Cooper Kupp. That’s the company they keep. Jones and Kupp, I mean. What an honor for them.

One main difference between the two Seahawks twins is that the older one never returned kicks. A point in the younger one’s favor, yes? Except Lockett never pulled this off:

Contrapuntally, Baldwin never produced a season on par with Lockett’s 2018, where, by efficiency measures, Lockett was the top receiver in the NFL, and it wasn’t close.

Then again, Lockett never had Baldwin’s second half of 2015, when, by pure touchdown-making measures, ADB was the most dangerous* receiver in the NFL. Scoring 10 TD in the space of four games sounds pretty special, but how special? Well, the list of WR who’ve accomplished that feat since the merger goes like this: Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Calvin Johnson, and Baldwin. Three Hall of Famers and our Doug.

(*dangeruss? no. nonono.)

Somehow, each Seahawk had a brief period of time when he was the most dominant receiver in the NFL. A short time, mind you, but it existed.

Like, it’s easy for two receivers to be clones when they’re both mediocre. It’s a heckuva lot more striking when they’re clones and transcendent.

To describe Baldwin and Lockett as pure route runners is complimentary, accurate, and also somehow also incomplete. Both are talented technically, but have also made important, impressive, improbable grabs permanently seared into the memory of the spoiled Seahawks fan.

In Minnesota, on a day that made the Ice Bowl look like a tropical getaway:

That last play... it’s in the past. It’s never coming back. If Drew Lock or Geno Smith makes anything resembling that magic happen in a playoff game, I’ll eat my laptop. And yours. With the sauce of your choice. Not ranch, though. That shit is overrated.

A post on Doug and Ty would be seriously deficient without one final pair of “whoa!” moments. For Lockett it’s the Rams catch in the corner of the end zone that he had no business cradling; for Baldwin you gotta go with the full-extension one-hander against the San Francisco 49ers. Obviously.

Ah, ye olde Russell Wilson magic. Speaking of the Denver Broncos quarterback, it’s fun to think that RW never lost his No. 1 receiver, because Doug simply decided to inhabit Tyler’s body. But now, as a postscript, Lockett has lost the only pro quarterback he’s ever known. And it’s hard to convincingly argue that the current Seahawks QB room will utilize him anywhere near as well as before.

Then again, Lockett only needs 4 TD and 496 yards to keep pace with Baldwin through eight seasons. Which is all Doug’s body had to give. So hopefully, in more ways than one, 2022 is where their paths ultimately begin to diverge.