Tyler Lockett: A Quietly Elite Season

Leading up to this season, Tyler Lockett had been a steady WR in Seattle, playing second fiddle to veteran Doug Baldwin in each of his first three seasons in the NFL. He has been extremely consistent, posting between 40-55 receptions and 500-700 yards in all three years. With Doug Baldwin sidelined early this season with nagging injuries, Lockett had the perfect opportunity to show that he was more than a career second or third option. Through the first 12 weeks of the season, Lockett has proved exactly that and much, much more.

Lockett has been primarily a deep threat for the Seahawks, and has averaged above 12 yards per reception his entire career thus far. His exceptional speed and big play ability matches up well with QB Russell Wilson’s scrambling and improvisational passing style. Lockett’s 4.4 second 40 time is in the 93rd percentile among all receivers in the NFL, and his agility score (a combination of 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drill times) is in the 79th percentile among receivers. With these great measurables and an amazing opportunity, here is what Lockett has done in 11 games this season:

REC YDS TD Y/R
Stat 43 661 8

15.4

NFL Rank

56th 25th 9th

21st

Lockett has done an exceptional job filling in for Baldwin when he was injured, and is starting to become Wilson’s favorite target. It becomes extremely easy to see why if you dig deeper into Lockett’s efficiency stats this season:

Catch Rate True Catch Rate Prod Premium QB Rating When Targeted DVOA

DYAR

Stat

79.6% 97.7% +52.4 157.3 46.5% 254
NFL Rank 4th 3rd 1st 1st

1st

8th

  • True Catch Rate: “Divides total receptions by total catchable targets.”
  • Production Premium: “Production Premium compares the outcome of all pass attempts, carries, and targets to league-average outcome in those same game situations (yard line, down, and distance). Positive values indicate that a player is more efficient than the average player, while negative values indicate that a player is less efficient than his peers with similar opportunities in similar situations.
  • Defense Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA): Calculates a player’s success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful the player is compared to the league average.
  • Defense Adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR): “Gives the value of the performance on plays where this WR caught the ball, compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage.”

Using these analytics, it is clear to see that Lockett is putting together an elite season despite not having quite the usage of the league’s best receivers. Despite averaging over 15 yards per catch, he is 3rd in the entire league in catch rate of catchable balls. He is also #1 in the league in both DVOA and Production Premium, two stats that compare a player’s production in each situation to the league average. When targeting Lockett, Wilson has an incredible, almost perfect passer rating of 157.3, good for 1st in the league as well.

Along with this incredible efficiency, Lockett has been extremely consistent this season. In 11 games, he has had a touchdown in 8. He has had between 3-5 catches in every single game but one, and has had less than 50 receiving yards only 3 times.

Tyler Lockett gives the Seahawks an often overlooked weapon that has been a key factor in the team’s recent success. With a great running attack headed by 2nd year RB Chris Carson, Doug Baldwin finally becoming healthy, and Russell Wilson continuing to play at a high level, Tyler Lockett could push the Seahawks over the edge as the playoff race reaches its climax.

Sources:
https://www.playerprofiler.com/nfl/tyler-lockett/
https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LockTy00.htm
https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/wr

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