The Detroit Lions might have a severe lack of wins, but not necessarily talent as one former wideout compared this young player to the great Larry Fitzgerald.
Yes, the Detroit Lions are coming off a down season. Yes, it was their second-losing season in row with head coach Matt Patricia at the helm. And yes, injuries were a major reason for the team posting a 3-12-1 record in 2019.
But is the Lions’ roster devoid of talent? The answer is a definitive no. Despite posting a record that has earned the team the third overall selection in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, Detroit was still able to send two players to the Pro Bowl. Those stars being cornerback Darius Slay and wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
Beyond those two, the Lions’ roster is full of talented players, many of which have yet to reach their full potential. Budding stars like safety Tracy Walker, running back Kerryon Johnson, tight end T.J. Hockenson, center Frank Ragnow, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, and several others could soon be Pro Bowl-bound themselves.
But the player who emerged the most this past season was undoubtedly Golladay. The third-year receiver recorded 65 receptions for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 18.3 yards per catch. And the 26-year old wideout was able to post these kinds of numbers despite not having his starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, under center for eight games.
In fact, Golladay’s breakout performance was so impressive it has former Lions wideout Nate Burleson, who is now an analyst for NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, comparing Kenny to future Hall of Fame receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald.
Here’s what Burleson told DetroitLions.com about Golladay …
"“He is a true No. 1. You don’t find guys like that that can run the routes that he can run but also are aggressive with their hands. … People catch with the body in traffic, but when [Golladay] goes and snatches that ball out of the air, it kind of reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald, like really strong hands, very confident in his hands and that’s a rarity in the league right now.”"
Burleson is putting Golladay in some rarefied air here. Fitzgerald has played a whopping 16 seasons in the NFL so far, earning 11 Pro Bowl nominations, three All-Pro honors, and has led the league in receptions and receiving touchdowns twice. Making the comparison easier is the fact both players share a similar style and build with Golladay measuring in at 6-foot-4, 214-pounds while Fitz is 6-foot-3, 218-pounds.
Leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns and earning his first Pro Bowl nomination in only his third season means Kenny Golladay is well on his way to becoming the next great superstar in the Motor City. And entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Detroit Lions would be wise to ink Golladay to an extension this offseason and not allow him to sniff free agency in 2021.