Tyler Lockett had one of the greatest wide receiver seasons in NFL history

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When we judge a wide receiver, we almost always judge him by the primary stats of receptions, yards and touchdowns. But relying solely on those stats can cause us to overlook great receivers who don’t get the ball thrown to them a lot, particularly great receivers in offenses that run the ball more. And in the case of one specific receiver, it has caused some to overlook one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.

That receiver is Seattle’s Tyler Lockett, who had a season unlike any other in NFL history.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw 70 passes to Lockett this season and completed 57 of them for 965 yards, with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a perfect 158.3 passer rating. According to NFL Operations, going back to 2002, no other receiver had ever put up a perfect passer rating while being targeted more than 15 times.

The signature statistic used by analytics site Football Outsiders, DVOA, measures players’ effectiveness on a play-by-play basis. Football Outsiders’ data goes back to 1986, and Lockett had the highest DVOA of any wide receiver Football Outsiders had ever measured.

Lockett averaged 13.79 yards per target. Pro Football Reference has target stats going back to 1992, and Lockett’s average was the highest ever for any receiver who was targeted more than 60 times.

Despite all that, Lockett was not selected to the Pro Bowl. How could Lockett, who had one of the most effective seasons for any wide receiver ever, not even be among the Top 4 wide receivers in the NFC? The answer is that most people only pay attention to catches, yards and touchdowns, and Lockett’s 57 catches for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns doesn’t look great.

But that’s about the Seahawks’ offense, not about Lockett individually. The Seahawks, who ran the ball 534 times and passed 427 times, had the highest run-pass ratio in the NFL this season. So Lockett didn’t have as many opportunities as he would have playing on another team.

For what he was asked to do on his team, however, Lockett was as good as any wide receiver in football.

46 responses to “Tyler Lockett had one of the greatest wide receiver seasons in NFL history

  1. Watching Russ Wilson develop a rapport with Doug Baldwin was a lot of fun. And now he has a different but equally effective rapport with Lockett. It’s pretty fun to watch. What wasn’t fun to watch was Lockett still returning kicks when Baldwin was injured and the offense was struggling. Frustrating

  2. If that stats are right I would throw to him more. Just like Barkley averaging 5.0 yards per carry. If you run in on every play would would go undefeated. Yes put my name in the running for some of the coaching vacancies. I am a froward thinker. Me and Mcvay baby all the way!

  3. He has been very solid for four years now. Nice to hit on your 3rd round picks. Michael Gallup seems to be the same type of wr for us (we shall see).

  4. Look at the Steelers…..they throw it 50 times a game and aren’t even in the playoffs. Fantasy hungry stat chasers think if it’s effective then why not throw him 140 balls.

  5. With that offensive personnel they would be perfect for the Run & Shoot Offense.

    Russell Wilson is the perfect run & shoot QB, and those small receivers would give defenses fits in the run & shoot.

    If I were Seattle’s OC I would spend some time with June Jones in the off-season. Study his offense, and run a modified version of Run & Shoot.

  6. Lockett in the pocket! Him and Baldwin are a great 1-2 punch for a receiver core. Keep bulking up that offensive line, and Seattle should have a solid scoring game for the next few years!

  7. That is a nice #1/#2 punch in the receiving department.

    Not L.A. Rams good… but… good.
    Not Houston good… but… good.
    Not Atlanta good… but… good.
    Not Tampa Bay good… but… good.
    Not Minnesota good… but… good.
    Not pittsburg good… but… good.

    I wish “my” team had a solid #1 wr, a solid #2 wr,
    and a tight end in the SAME SEASON.

  8. The Seahawks are in the playoffs again. Lockett is just another example of solid scouting. The Hawks consistently have been hitting on good players in the middle rounds for a good number of years. So it’s not a fluke. The draft is not a crap shoot. Scouting and the draft get labeled a crap shoot by people who weren’t very successful at it. Teams like Seattle, New England, and Pittsburgh continue to finish near the top, even though they’re always drafting near the bottom. Hats off to John Schneider. He obviously is good at scouting character too. It takes one to know one. Pete Carroll is the same way. Hats off to Paul Allen for figuring this stuff out. Brilliant! R.I.P. Mr. Allen. I’m sure these guys are fighting extra hard for you.

  9. Lockett and the Seahawks go in to whatever weird town that isn’t Dallas that Jerruh put that massive stadium in and win OUTRIGHT! I think they win by 10 points too! The Seahawks are hot right now and have a much better coach, QB, and WRs. They have an about equal D and the two RBs that the Hawks have are equal to one Elliot. I’m telling you the Seahawks are going to manhandle the choke artist Cowboys

  10. I agree he is a very solid WR, but i seen alot of his catches and when 40 of ur receptions come on a defensive breakdown where you have no defender on you, well its not all that impressive.

  11. Russell Wilson balled out after having his skills and leadership questioned seemingly by every defensive player that left the team. He adjudicated himself well leaving no doubt he was worth the money and the investment.

    Unlike my boy here in Detroit who somehow managed to have one of the most unremarkable years of his career. Where you could never count him out of any game before, you could basically count him out of every game this year. It was really weird.

  12. Lockett is a solid receiver but let’s not go overboard with this “greatest in history,”sure I can utilize any statistic to make a case for a number of receivers. For example, Hopkins had 115 receptions and 0 drops this year, I think i’de rather have that than 57 receptions (a much smaller sample size).

  13. I’m not surprised the Lockett and Baldwin get overlooked.
    By the time the Seattle defense got wide national notice/notoriety, the Legion of Boom had reached its peak. The last few years, Chancellor was hurt half a season, Earl Thomas’s shoulders and legs snapped, and Richard Sherman decided to pontificate on just about anything he was asked. They had lost Browner, Lane and Maxwell to lurid money offers or injury. Michael Bennett thought his comedy routine could compensate for his chronic off-sides problems and Cliff Avril was forced into retirement.
    But those early years were fun to watch!

  14. “Belongs in the HOF.

    And hey, before you downvote this, remember, Terrell Davis and Jerome Bettis are in there too.”

    ——-

    Difference is, Jerome Bettis is 7th all time in rushing yardage and Terell Davis has 2 Superbowl rings and a 2000 yard season under his belt. So yeah, 965 yards isn’t going to cut it just yet.

  15. Tyler Lockett is a player you root for. He puts in the work and is absolutely fearless on the field. He plays any bigger than his frame.

    I thought even as a rookie his route running was exceptional. He got hurt and it was looking worrisome that he wouldn’t get back his explosiveness. The Seahawks trusted and extended him.

    He is one of the best WR in football. Him and Doug Baldwin do not complain being on a run first time at all. They both make the most out of their targets. No Divas in the Seahawks WR room.

  16. xiiprestige says:
    January 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    I agree he is a very solid WR, but i seen alot of his catches and when 40 of ur receptions come on a defensive breakdown where you have no defender on you, well its not all that impressive.

    ——————————-

    Go back and watch his sideline catch of Wilson’s rainbow against the Chiefs two weeks ago. Then come back and tell us you’re not impressed.
    ——————————-

  17. No one is ever going to be selected to the Pro Bowl with those numbers.
    No one should either.

    What do you want in the Pro Bowl, for example, a running back that had 1400 yards and 10 TDs or some running back with half that but had a cool, new invented stat in his favor? Come on

  18. He’ll eat the Dallas DB’s up Saturday night. While Dallas’ game plan is just kick field goals.

  19. While this is impressive, it only relates to the modern NFL easy-to-throw era. Go back to WRs like Paul Warfield. He had 7 straights seasons of over 20 yds/catch, career over 20 yds per catch, 85 career TDs on 427 catches. He was amazing, but in that era the rules didn’t favor the offense. Now the rules overwhelmingly favor offense, especially passing offense.

    For example, in 1972 Miami was undefeated and had the highest passer rating of any team, yet they had 588 carries by RBs in a 14 game season (42/game), with 259 pass attempts (18.5/game). Warfield easily led the team in receptions with 29. It was a vastly different game then. The Jets had the most passing yards of any team with 2777 – under 200 per game. So when this article says “targeted more than 60 times”, that pretty much means you’re throwing out most players stats pre-1974 rules changes.

  20. doctorrustbelt says:
    January 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm
    That is a nice #1/#2 punch in the receiving department.

    Not L.A. Rams good… but… good.
    Not Houston good… but… good.
    Not Atlanta good… but… good.
    Not Tampa Bay good… but… good.
    Not Minnesota good… but… good.
    Not pittsburg good… but… good.

    I wish “my” team had a solid #1 wr, a solid #2 wr,
    and a tight end in the SAME SEASON.

    ————

    And 4 out of the 6 teams you mention have missed the playoffs including my beloved Vikings. All flash, no substance. Believe me, it’s not as great as you think.

  21. Did I see charliecharger mention “character” and Pete Carroll in the same context?? Whaaaaaat!!!

  22. Seattle minus Earl Thomas. Dallas plus Amari Cooper. Dallas at Home. Rested offensive line and Ezekiel Elliot. Advantage: Cowboys.

  23. And nobdody has mentioned, Seattle barely beat the non-divisional, very last-placed team in the entire league. I’d be worried Seattle fans…

  24. I could see Dallas or Seattle making a run, whichever survives this game. Week 17 means nothing, especially to Seattle. Keep an eye on whether Griffin is too banged up, though.

  25. The Seahawks/Cowboys game will be short with both teams running games. Expect it to seem like a hard fought, low scoring throwback game by the end. The pass efficiency of each QB will be crucial in this one. I have more faith in Russell than Dak to perform at a very elite level. Seahawks 24-Cowboys 21……

  26. No idea how the game will go but if it is close at the end, I like Russell Wilson to be clutch and get yet another playoff win.

    I know Zeke is good but Chris Carson is a beast. The will to win is strong in him. He wants people to know who he is. Watch out for him in the 4th quarter.

    I will take the hawks by 7 because of Russell Wilson and the ice in his veins and his nerves of steel and his ability to calm his squad in the most crunchiest of times. Playoffs are where Russell thrives compared to the average qb.

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