Throughout their history, the Detroit Lions have looked to use receivers and returners in a dual role. Last season, the Lions used Jeremy Ross much in this way. Ross, however, didn’t contribute much in either phase of the game, perhaps leading Detroit to look for a developmental option in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Given Tyler Lockett fits both of these criteria well, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team targeted him in the middle rounds later this May as a weapon.
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Notable Combine Measureables
40-Yd Dash: 4.40 seconds
20-Yd Dash: 2.59 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 6.89 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35 1/2
Broad Jump: 10’1″
225 Pound Bench Press: N/A
Traits and Projected Round
Lockett is one of the better straight-line speed receivers in the entire 2015 NFL Draft, and has excellent moves and fleet of foot in the open field. On special teams, Lockett is one of the most gifted players to come out of college given his Kansas State record 2,196 specialty team yards with six total scores. Certainly, Lockett’s wiry frame, shorter size and suspect hands will draw questions, but like Jamison Crowder, he’s the type of player a team could draft because of speed and tools alone and worry about teaching him the rest later. It helps that he has a quality bloodline with his father Kevin Lockett being a former seven year NFL pro, which lends him maturity and perspective.
Considering some good depth at the top of the receiver class, it would be fair to assume Lockett will go somewhere between round three and four, especially given his excellent, eye opening Senior Bowl.
Why The Detroit Lions Could Draft Tyler Lockett
Offensively, the Lions lack a true burner like Lockett who can stretch the field and get behind the defense. His speed and moves in the open field could provide Detroit with the trump card they’ve lacked, and something to keep defenses honest in the second level besides Calvin Johnson. On special teams, he could fill both the punt return and kick return roles confidently. Detroit’s had a need for some additional speed recently, and Lockett is a durable, consistent performer and team player that can provide that variable.
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