In the three starts that Geno Smith made for the Seattle Seahawks in 2021, there was often a lack of quarterback-wide receiver connection between him and Tyler Lockett. Lockett had a huge game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with Smith at quarterback (12 catches for 142 yards), but in the other two games he had just four total catches for 47 yards across ten targets against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints. It was DK Metcalf (among others) seeing more of the targets over that short time span.
This year has been a different story so far. Not only has Lockett seen 26 targets in the first three games, but he is off to a sizzling hot start. In addition to that sizzling start, as ESPN continues to build out its analytics division and develop position-specific metrics, the ESPN Analytics division has come to a shocking conclusion: Lockett is really good.
On a related note, the great @SethWalder and @bburkeESPN rolled out new receiving metrics today based on player tracking, routes, defender positioning, etc: https://t.co/YEAnYWBmct— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) September 28, 2022
The metrics LOVE Mark Andrews. pic.twitter.com/TUP386SBRn
As the graphic from Los Angeles Rams fan Mina Kimes shows, Lockett ranks third in a newly developed receiver metric. The overall metric takes several data points into account, including Open Score, Catch Score, Yards After Catch. Lockett ranks best in catch score, which is unsurprising considering Lockett will drop a pass about once in a blue moon (and maybe less often than that).
The only two players that rank ahead of Lockett are Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who is arguably the best tight end in football these days, and Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, last year’s triple crown winner (catches, yards, touchdowns).
Not bad for the eighth year Seahawks receiver, who is also celebrating his 30th birthday on Wednesday, a birthday he happens to share with a former Seattle wide receiver who was pretty good in his own right.
Happy very-odd-Seahawks-receiver-coincidence day: On this day in 1954, Steve Largent was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And on this day in 1992, Tyler Lockett was born, also in Tulsa, Oklahoma.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 28, 2022