Ceilings and floors for Lions rookies in 2017: Kenny Golladay
What can the Detroit Lions expect from their third-round selection, Kenny Golladay? Will he be the best player he can be in 2017 or will he fall flat?
As the Detroit Lions held their rookie camp last weekend, the new draftees and undrafted free agents had their first chance to work the Lions’ coaches and get a feel for the professional game. Each rookie brings a different skill set and will have different expectations entering 2017.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will cover every Lions draftee and a few of the UDFAs that have a chance to make the final roster. Today, we take a look at third-rounder Kenny Golladay.
The wide receiver out of Northern Illinois did not have much hype around him entering the draft. Many called him a reach in the third round as he did not play against the best competition at the college level.
Golladay has a legitimate shot at starting in 2017. The Lions are pretty set with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones as their two split receivers, but the departure of Anquan Boldin opens up a spot in the slot. He fits the part as well.
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His 6’4″, 218-pound frame, along with his surprising agility make him an ideal candidate. The Northern Illinois product has great hands and rarely drops passes. He has a long catch radius and can snatch anything around him out of the air.
At best, Golladay can serve a similar role Boldin did last season as the team’s main short-yardage and third-down threat, he may even lead the team in touchdown receptions.
As a rookie receiver who isn’t used to playing against a high level of competition, there is high potential for growing pains in his rookie season. He struggled when lined up out wide at times. Golladay would become a non-factor against press coverage.
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His route running leaves much to be desired and he has a hard time separating himself in close man coverage. Despite his size and catch radius, he has trouble making a strong play on the ball with a defender in the area.
The Lions do have a need at slot receiver, but it is not guaranteed to fall to Golladay. Eric Ebron, who is listed as a tight end, is a similarly sized player who does nearly everything better.
With the addition of Michael Roberts in the draft, Ebron will probably line up more as a slot receiver than ever. Golladay might struggle to even get on the field next season.
Kenny Golladay was the first huge risk pick of the Bob Quinn era in Detroit (depending on how you feel about Teez Tabor). The Lions invested a Day Two pick on a player who probably would have been available On Day Three.
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The sky is the limit and he can fill one of the teams biggest offensive voids in 2017. On the other hand there is more potential for Golladay to fall flat than any other Lions draft pick