Since the closing weeks of the 2021 season, Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett has received his fair share of much-deserved acclaim for his excellence, consistency, and reliability both on and off the field.
Along with being nominated as Seattle’s representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and recent learning he would be inducted into Kansas State’s Ring of Honor this fall, he received an Emmy Award for his Through The Ashes: The Story of Black Wall Street documentary. Further adding to his growing trophy case, he was named Seattle Sports Star of the Year at the annual banquet on Thursday night.
But despite the accolades and increased recognition, at least from a football perspective, Lockett somehow still remains a criminally underrated commodity in comparison to other top-flight receivers. And make no mistake about it – he firmly belongs in the discussion as one of the NFL’s elite.
Since the start of the 2019 season, Lockett has produced a trio of 1,000-yard seasons consecutively, joining legendary Hall of Fame wideout Steve Largent as only the second Seahawk to achieve the feat in franchise history. He also posted the highest single-season mark for receptions (100) in 2020, continuing to etch his name in the record books.
However, to truly understand his overlooked greatness, Lockett’s numbers must be examined in comparison to the rest of the league.
Since the start of the 2019 season, Lockett stands out as the only receiver in the NFL with at least 70 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. He’s one of one. Out of the 26 seasons with such numbers collectively, superstar receivers Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp were the only others who achieved those marks twice in that same span.
Further demonstrating its remarkable efficiency, according to the Pro Football Reference, Lockett produced a catch rate of at least 68 percent in all three of those seasons. Combining those impressive catch rates with his receptions, receiving yardage, and touchdown totals, only 11 other seasons matching those numbers happened in the entire league from 2019 to 2021.
Making these statistics over an extended period of time all the more remarkable, a large percentage of Lockett’s production over the years has come on downfield throws, which typically have a lower hit rate. Quarterback Russell Wilson deserves some of the credit for his deep passing prowess, but over the past three years, Lockett’s seven touchdown receptions of 40-plus yards ranks third in the league behind only AJ Brown and Tyreek Hill.
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Collectively, over the past four seasons, Lockett is one of just four receivers with at least 4,200 receiving yards, 200 receptions, and 36 touchdowns. He hit these marks on at least 60 less targets than the other three receivers on the list.
An artist working his magic on the field with his cleats rather than the brush of a paint stroke every Sunday, Lockett combines remarkable body control with exquisite footwork, elite hand-eye coordination and tracking skills, and soft, ever-so-reliable hands. In his seven NFL seasons, he has developed a penchant for making challenging catches look routine and in terms of entertainment value, few wideouts have assembled a better highlight reel.
Yet, even considering his lofty production and proclivity for reeling in jaw-dropping catches week in and week out starring for playoff-bound teams, Lockett has never garnered anywhere close to the respect he deserves as one of the premier receivers in the game on a national level.
After being selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2015, Lockett hasn’t been named to the squad once in the past six seasons, including his three straight years eclipsing the century mark. While he has three All-Pro selections on his resume, each of them came in his first three seasons as a kick / punt return specialist.
Since a breakout 2018 season when he produced a then career-high 965 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, Lockett is among a select group of seven receivers with two or more seasons of 70-plus receptions, 1000-plus receiving yards, and eight-plus touchdown receptions. Out of that group, he’s the only player who hasn’t been named to at least one Pro Bowl, while five of them have been selected multiple seasons.
Additionally, Lockett and Mike Evans of the Buccaneers are the only two players among those seven who haven’t received All-Pro recognition a single time in that four-year period. Adams, Hill, and Saints star Michael Thomas have received First-Team accolades twice, while Kupp and Bills standout Stephen Diggs earned the distinction once apiece.
Humble and reserved, Lockett has been on the record numerous times indicating he doesn’t play the game for individual acclamation. He’s a well-rounded superstar athlete who prioritizes contributing any way he can for the Seahawks to win and helping others, standing out as the perfect role model for young people to emulate. Those in the Pacific Northwest understand his true value as a player and person.
With that said, considering how favorably his numbers stack up – and sometimes exceeded – those of other top-tier receivers, it’s a shame Lockett has not been selected to the Pro Bowl or been honored as an All-Pro recipient a single time during his current string of dominance against opposing secondaries. Assuming he continues to post quality numbers without Wilson under center, one can only hope voters right a wrong in future seasons and reward one the game’s best as he rightfully deserves.