Tyler Lockett had his best season ever in 2019. He posted a career-high 82 receptions for 1,057 yards. He also found the end zone eight times.
But he still doesn’t generate the buzz that some of his peers around the league do. Even on the Seahawks roster, it’s DK Metcalf who garners most of the attention these days. Metcalf, on average, is being selected ahead of Lockett in most fantasy football drafts.
There’s an argument to be made that Lockett remains one of the league’s most underappreciated stars at any position.
That used to bother him, but it doesn’t anymore.
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“I kind of gave up on that,” he said on Friday. “It’s kind of pointless to worry about (how) people view me as a receiver. When you have people who watch the game, they’re going to have a different opinion than people who actually play.”
And that’s true, as indicated by the NFL’s annual list of the top 100 players. Lockett’s peers voted him as the league’s 65th best player, ahead of Larry Fitzgerald (69), Keenan Allen (77), Metcalf (81), Cooper Kupp (89) and Allen Robinson (93).
Lockett pointed out that many fans and casual observers of the game usually gloss over the refined aspects of his skill set.
“They don’t look at the route-running,” he said. “They don’t look at all these other things that make a player a player.”
At 5-foot-10, Lockett doesn’t fit the mold of what most consider to be a prototype wideout, but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in his versatility.
“I view myself as an all-around player,” he said. “If you want me on the inside, OK. If you want me on the outside, OK. If you want me to do kick return, OK. If you want me to do punt return, OK. I’m a player that has so much value.”
Lockett remains the Seahawks No. 1 wide receiver, but he joked that he’d be just fine if that were to change.
“OK, then I get to go back to doing both returns,” Lockett said matter-of-factly.
What makes Lockett special is his chemistry with Russell Wilson and the damage the two of them do in the scramble drill. On top of that, many of Lockett’s most explosive plays are on catches with a ridiculous degree of difficulty. His 13-yard touchdown against the Rams on “Thursday Night Football” last season was one of the top highlights across the league in 2019.
Lockett, much like his quarterback, will always have those fail to truly appreciate his greatness. The reality is that while he might not be in the top three at his position like Wilson, he’s not as far off as many might think, either.