Tyler Lockett: Bigger isn’t always better


What makes a great wide receiver? Most people will answer that question with the answer, ‘a receiver with height’. Absolutely not. Height is a great commodity to have, but it isn’t the only ingredient that makes a great wide receiver, a combination of traits do. For example agility, body control, strength, quickness, soft hands, physical stamina, concentration, focus, toughness, pride, eye–hand coordination, vision, intelligence, the ability to conceptualize concepts. A receiver with smaller measurable’s certainly can meet these attributes and be known to be #1 quality.

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What’s the difference between a receiver with taller measurable’s than a receiver with smaller measurable’s? Well, in my opinion, taller receivers mostly have an indisputable edge in touchdowns, and going up for high balls and jump balls. Those are really the only two things that scream advantage to me. 10 of the 12 wide receivers with double-digit receiving touchdowns in 2014 all measure in at six feet or taller. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s probably always a good thing. Touchdowns for any offensive player is an important statistic.

Inside receivers are usually known for their lack of size, but in today’s NFL, inside receivers are increasingly becoming an important position. 6 of the NFL’s top 11 in receiving yards for the 2014 season measure in at six feet or less. Doesn’t mean taller receivers can’t accumulate yards, look what Calvin Johnson did in 2012 when he broke Jerry Rice’s receiving record. However, we’re seeing a trend of smaller receivers rack up the yardage to set these taller receivers up for touchdowns.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks iterated it best. “They’re ‘escape artists’ vs. Bump & Run coverage. They tend to be better route runners (better body control & short area quickness). The emphasis on “RAC” has coaches looking for “catch & run” specialists (“Small” WRs are typically quicker & more dynamic in open)”

Taller wide receivers are obviously better, who wouldn’t want 6’5″, 230lbs who can go up and catch the ball in crowded situations? But they aren’t always better. Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown measures in at 5-10 180 pounds, and he just about lead in all receiving category’s in the 2014 season. Guys like Brown and New York’s Odell Beckham are proven players that a receiver with smaller measurable’s can absolutely be #1 quality.

The Seattle Seahawks are in a situation where they lack that position, they have been for some time now. A #1 receiver where Russell Wilson could constantly rely on. The Seahawks now have Jimmy Graham where he comes in at 6’7″, the tallest pass catcher the Seahawks have had on their roster since Kellen Davis (6’6″) in 2013, does he count? Graham could become Wilson’s favorite target and that would make him instantly their No. 1 receiver.

However, in terms of wide receiver, the Seahawks problems of #1 quality could be solved. Tyler Lockett possesses the similarities of what Antonio Brown does. He lacks size, but doesn’t lack talent. What’s irritating is that experts keep embedding the fact that Lockett is a “slot” receiver, but I think they’re basing it strictly on his size and not taking the time to observe tape. Tyler Lockett has overcome his size throughout his career, his production proves that, it’s not going to stop him now.

Lockett views himself as being more of a balanced player than a one trick pony, and I can’t say it enough, Lockett has lined up more outside than any other spot on offense at Kansas Sate. Lockett’s ability to prevail in route running cancels in size in my opinion. His route running allows him to set up anywhere. He can be a threat on goal-line situations, 1st and long or 3rd and short. His versatility separates himself from other receivers on the team as well as around the league.

What’s frustrating for DB’s? He’s slippery. His elusiveness prevents corners from making solid contact.

He is simply the best route runner in the 2015 class, he constantly makes defensive backs look silly in coverage.

Tyler Lockett is elite at what he does and will consistently challenge defenses over the top. The Seahawks are getting a player that can play receiver, return kicks, and return punts. Sooner rather than later, we’ll all be taking “speical teams” and leaving out “teams” because guys like Tyler Lockett are special.

When you have the production, versatility, and athleticism such as Tyler Lockett has, I’m sorry, but  I’ll take those attributes over size all day. Bigger isn’t always better.

Next: A Seahawks Hangover: dealing with the Super Bowl loss

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