AnalysisThis is a very good player from K-State. Lockett started 42 of 47 games that he played in, catching 249 passes for 3,710 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also scored in the punt/kick return game six times. Lockett is a put together slot wide receiver with very good speed [4.40 forty] and short shuttle [4.07]. He has soft hands, runs good routes and has a real suddenness to his game with the ball in his hands. Some team will get a real value in this player because of all the things he can do on the football field.
Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation
Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:
Just think of Tyler Lockett as Percy Harvin without the attitude issues. Teams looking for an all-around mighty mite will see that Lockett can not only excel as a deep threat, but he’s become a very efficient crack blocker and few in this draft boast his return skills ability.
The three-time All-American recently broke all of the school’s receiving records, most that were previously established by his father, Kevin. His KSU record 236 catches rank 12th in Big Twelve history, and his 3,546 receiving yards took the sixth spot on the league all-time list. He is tied with his father for the Wildcats mark with 26 touchdown grabs.
He holds the conference record with a 29.1-yard average and is fifth with 2,152 yards on 74 kickoff returns. His four kicks run back for scores is fourth in NCAA history. He also set the school mark by gaining 100 yards receiving 15 times, including on four of his final five appearances during a 2014 season that saw him collect 106 passes for 1,515 yards and eleven touchdowns.
Lockett has a lean frame with adequate muscle definition, but is stronger than he looks. He has little room to add more bulk to his frame, but it could impact his best asset – timed speed - as he has more than enough quickness to elude in the open field, with adequate strength to fight for the ball in a crowd. He is not only explosive off the snap, but he shows very good suddenness when changing directions.
The Wildcat has that quick burst off the get-off foot and really hops into the route’s progression. You can see on film his ability to uncover and free himself up when working in the short area. Even though he lacks great size, teams looking for an all-around mighty mite will see that Lockett can not only excel as a deep threat, but he’s become a very efficient crack blocker and few in this draft boast his return skills ability.
The first four-time All-American in school history, Lockett displays a nice combination of quickness, change of direction agility and a rolling burst out of his break point. He does a good job of gathering and lowering his weight to make sharp cuts heading up field. He might not look strong, but he has the hand punch and placement to beat the press.
Lockett has outstanding quickness, agility and balance. He gets to top speed in a hurry and maintains acceleration throughout his routes. He has that quick second gear burst as a returner to take the ball to the house consistently (two touchdowns on punt returns, four more on kickoffs). With his exceptional timed speed he can accelerate away from anyone. He plays with suddenness, but has to improve his lateral agility a bit in order to come out of his breaks cleanly.
Lockett is an instinctive returner, but needs to vary his speed when running routes. He is patient letting the wedge set up on returns, but while he is explosive in the open field, his concentration tends to be a bit inconsistent. He is not the type who will ever worry when he hears the sounds of the defender’s footsteps working over the middle, as he does a nice job of securing the ball on receptions before turning up field.
Lockett is alert working underneath, especially when the quarterback is going to deliver the ball, as he does a nice job of looking the throw in over his outside shoulder without having to break stride. On deep patterns, he has that extra burst needed to run by defenders and is very effective at making the over-the-shoulder grabs. He moves well left or right, but does just adequate hip snap on his lateral moves. The thing you see on film is his ability to get down the field rapidly.
Lockett can track, adjust and jump for the ball much better on long routes than he does when working in a crowd, but his crowd issues are do to a lack of size, not courage (has the heart of a lion). When he is up against the press, he tends to take false steps and cocks his arms before firing, but he has more than enough speed to compensate.
Sometimes, that speed gets him into trouble, as he runs so fast, he might miss a cut or look sloppy trying to plant-&-drive. Still, he is a quick accelerator who shows suddenness off the snap. Once he gets in the open field, few defenders can mirror him.
Lockett can instantly turn on a defensive back on a route, as he has that extra gear needed to pull away. When he sinks his hips, he transitions fast and accelerates through the cuts to burst away. He might not look fluid in and out of his breaks, but has the ability to separate thanks to a sensational second gear. He has the speed to stretch the field and separate, showing steady acceleration to uncover vs. man coverage.
The Wildcats receiver has the ability to go high or low for the throw. He times his leaps well, but will get bounced around a bit competing for the ball in a crowd, lacking the bulk to prevent from getting ping-ponged. He gets good elevation and keeps his hands outside the frame to make the acrobatic catches, but needs to show more courage working in traffic.
If given room to operate, Lockett will simply race past a defender. He might not have the strength to break tackles or the lateral agility to redirect, but with his acceleration, he is a dangerous threat with the ball in his hands. His burst makes him too elusive in man coverage, as he always makes the first tackler miss.
Lockett appears to be a quality return specialist who can contribute some as a receiver and not a receiver who can contribute some as a return specialist. He is very effective on quick slants and screens and tracks the ball well over his head, but with his lack of strength and inability to defeat the press, he might struggle to get a clean release and into his routes at the next level.
Still, even when he gets ping-ponged going over the middle as a receiver, the sound of the defender’s footsteps never affects his concentration and he will fight hard for the ball until the whistle. He is an electrifying returner who could bring decent value in multiple receiver formations, as long as you don’t ask Lockett to run lateral routes into a crowd.
Tyler Lockett Scouting Combine measurables
5-10/182 (4.40 forty)
30-inch arm length
8 3/8-inch hands
33.5-inch vertical jump
121-inch broad jump
6.89 3 cone drill
4.07 20 yard shuttle
11.14 60 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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