The Detroit Lions have a plethora of young stars set to take the league by storm. Will Kenny Golladay be the next Lion to receive national recognition?
The Detroit Lions have amassed a talented, young core of players in the past few seasons under the watchful eye of general manager Bob Quinn. And several moves made this offseason have only added more talent to the roster.
Young players like running back Kerryon Johnson, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, linebacker Jarrad Davis, cornerback Jamal Agnew, and safety Tracy Walker are all budding stars in Motown. But which youngster will be the next to gain national recognition through a bid at the Pro Bowl?
According to one NFL insider, that Lion could very well be third-year wide receiver, Kenny Golladay. Here’s what Around the NFL Writer Marc Sessler wrote on the league’s official website recently after choosing Golladay as the Lions’ likely first-time Pro Bowler in 2019.
"“Already Detroit’s clear-cut top wideout, Golladay is coming off a 1,000-yard campaign that saw him average nine targets, five catches and 73 yards per game after Golden Tate was shipped to the Eagles. One of the better contested-catch receivers around, only 14 pass-catchers league-wide absorbed more targets than the 6-4 Golladay in 2018.”"
The Lions willingness to move on from longtime receiving leader Golden Tate last season had a lot to do with the emergence of Golladay. A former third-round selection out of Northern Illinois in 2017, the now 25-year old flashed his superstar potential during his rookie season, scoring two touchdowns in both his preseason and regular season debuts.
Unfortunately, a hamstring injury limited the talented 6-foot-4 receiver to just 11 games during his first year in the Motor City. Golladay would record just 28 receptions for 477 yards and three scores in 2017.
Last season served as a breakout year for Golladay. In his first season under new head coach Matt Patricia, and despite fielding a lackluster passing attack (20th in the NFL) in Motown, the young wideout was still able to post a team-high 70 catches for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns.
If Kenny Golladay is going to earn a Pro Bowl nomination in his third season in the Motor City, he’ll have to post a much better catch percentage than he did in 2018. Despite leading the team with 119 targets, Golladay was only able to haul in 58.8 percent of those passes. With the Lions expected to shift more to a run-first offense this upcoming season under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Golladay will need to make the most of every opportunity.