Much like Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham in 2015, it appeared that second year player Tyler Lockett was in the midst of a late-season breakout before a major injury derailed his year. The Seahawks will anxiously wait to see what, if anything, they will get from Lockett in 2017.
After making the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2015, Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett had already returned the value of the Seahawks hefty price tag with his return ability. What surprised most Seahawks fans was his ability to also play wide receiver. Unlike other return aces like Devin Hester and Dante Hall, Lockett was a good route runner who used both speed and precision to get open.
After replacing Jermaine Kearse in the starting lineup in Week 13, Lockett’s progression as a receiver was on full display until his unfortunate injury in Week 16 against the Cardinals. In that time, Lockett racked up 18 catches on 22 targets, good for 272 yards and a touchdown, a pace that extrapolated over 16 games makes him a 1,000 yard receiver. He also added 90 rushing yards.
Sadly, Lockett broke his leg just inches shy of scoring a touchdown on a deep ball, and both the Seahawks pass game and return game suffered. It is unclear if Lockett will make it back by Week 1 in 2017.
The value of Lockett is measured, not only on special teams, but also on offense. His speed, acceleration, and change-of-direction ability makes him a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands. He is also Russell Wilson‘s favorite downfield target.
Assuming Lockett is not ready for Week 1, there will be questions surrounding the return game. The Seahawks did not add a punt/kick returner in the off-season. Both Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin have return experience, but the risk of injury must weigh heavy on Pete Carroll’s mind.
Whether or not Lockett can return from his gruesome leg injury has a massive impact. It is because of this impact that Tyler Lockett finds himself at #12 on our list.