When the Seahawks traded up in the third round of the NFL Draft to select wide receiver Tyler Lockett, they didn’t do so for his pass-catching skills. No, the Seahawks made that move because they were desperate to find someone who could change a game with dynamic return skills on special teams.
That is exactly what Lockett is. It only took the game tape from two games to find two punt returns and two kick returns that showed off his dynamic athleticism. Lockett does such a good job of finding seems to run through that he almost never gets bottled up before he can get up field.
And if I’m being honest, this entire article is just an excuse to post some highlight .gifs of Lockett. The guy can fly, and he’s extremely fun to watch.
While it ends up not counting because of a penalty, it is easy to see his explosiveness here. Lockett makes the first wave miss, and then there is no one that even has a shot at stopping him from reaching the end zone.
Kick returns are a completely different beast from punt returns. Kickoffs travel further and the gunners don’t get a head start. There also aren’t any offensive linemen on the field for kickoffs. All eleven guys on the kick coverage team can run and tackle. So while the kick returner always has a chance to get up to speed, there is typical less space to work with once he does so.
Lockett show great vision to find to the areas where the players on the coverage team are out of their lanes. He uses his speed to take advantage of gaps before they close.
Another thing that shows up on these plays is that Lockett run with a surprising amount of power for such a small player. He is very difficult to take down once he gets moving.
Note: The game film was the DraftBreakdown.com, and all four .gifs came from the DraftBreakdown gif generator. Video content is owned by the original broadcast companies, and used here as part of the “fair use doctrine” as part of the U.S. Copyright laws.