Tyler Lockett did some ridiculous things last season, and the statistics prove it.
The Seahawks star landed at No. 2 on NFL's list of best pass-catchers. Lockett is just barely behind Saints wideout, Michael Thomas, as one of 10 players from a Next Gen Stats standpoint to haul in more targets than they were supposed to.
Per NFL.com and Next Gen Stats, Lockett had a catch rate of 74.5 percent, an expected catch rate of 61.9 percent, and a difference of 12.6 percent.
ESPN writer Nick Shook said Lockett's catch-rate difference is nearly equal to that of Thomas, but his method for achieving it was very different.
Lockett enjoyed an average cushion of more than a yard above Thomas' rate (6.1 to 4.8), and as a result, his targets came with over 4 more air yards on average. Interestingly, Lockett's opponents rarely pressed him, doing so just 15.5 percent of the time, likely fearful of his potential to beat them deep after winning the jam at the line. That produced a lower yards-per-target average of 9.6, which is similar to Thomas' (9.3) despite facing much different coverage at the snap. Lockett has a flair for making the tough catch, though, so it should come as little surprise that he tied Thomas atop the catch-rate difference leaderboard. Defenses should probably stop leaving him wide open, though; he owned the highest wide-open rate of this group (22.7%).
Lockett had several highlight-worthy catches in 2019, as Russell Wilson's go-to receiver all year long.
Down 6-0 to the Los Angeles Rams last October, Russell Wilson was being chased by defenders when he fired off a pass to the corner of the endzone to Lockett, who was 0.2 yards from the sideline and 1.1 yards from the back of the endzone when he caught the ball with his tip-toes in bounds.
The 13-yard toe-drag touchdown was the most improbable completion of the last two seasons, per Next Gen Stats. NFL Twitter lost it.
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2019
There was also this catch on opening day. Despite having just one catch and only two targets against the Cincinnati Bengals, Lockett made his targets count. He went for a 44-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter that ultimately was the winning score in Seattle's 21-20 victory.
— SBR Sports Picks (@SBRSportsPicks) September 8, 2019
Lockett took an important step last season after veteran receiver Doug Baldwin hung up his cleats and left football. He quickly emerged as Wilson's new No. 1 target and the duo made up one of the NFC's most explosive pairings.
If Lockett can stay healthy in 2020, we could very well see another 1,000-yard plus season for the 27-year-old, and perhaps a second Pro Bowl nod.
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Stanford coach David Shaw.
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett named one of the NFLs best pass-catchers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest