Is Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay ready to erupt in 2020?

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been rising the ranks of footballs best wideouts, but is he ready to erupt in 2020?

The Detroit Lions are no stranger to having some amazing wide receivers on their roster. This season their in an interesting position with a top tier pass-catcher heading into the final year of his contract. And what’s even better (or worse) is that Kenny Golladay might be set to erupt in 2020 and earn himself a big payday.

There are many factors at play leading into this season for Golladay’s success. One of the most obvious things is out of his control – the health of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Consistency from one of the better quarterbacks in the league will do wonders for Golladay’s production. Yet, even with three different quarterbacks in 2019, he was still able to put up 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

The statistical trend is another reason Golladay is an interesting receiver to keep an eye on. He’s increased his output in every one of his past three seasons in yards from 477 to 1,063 to 1,190 and in touchdowns from three to five to 11. The touchdowns alone fit the stereotype of wide receivers doing their best in their third season.

But to put a point of emphasis in the statistical trend here, let’s compare him to a recent Lions legend, receiver Calvin Johnson. This will be quick and only about the stats in comparison to their first four seasons. Johnson produced 756, 1,331 and 984 yards in his first three seasons. His touchdowns we’re a little different at four, 12 and five.

In Johnson’s fourth season, he started to create a legacy as Megatron when he posted 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns. This stat line looks eerily familiar to Golladay’s stats from 2019. What’s a little more impressive is Golladay had 18.3 yards per reception compared to 14.7 yards per reception for Johnson’s third year. Also, 18.3 yards per reception for Golladay is more than Johnson has ever reached in a single season.

The point of this comparison is to show that Johnson took a huge step in his fourth season before erupting for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns the following season. Golladay’s stats are on the exact same trajectory, even slightly better and he did it without the same quarterback all season in year three.

Finally, Golladay is in the second season of Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system. Putting up 11 touchdowns in your first season under a new coordinator is a pretty nice feather in your cap, especially considering the quarterback situation. Another year of consistency in the offense with his starting quarterback should do wonders for Golladay.

If Golladay erupts in 2020 with a stat line of 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns, the Lions will need to save some of their $29 million in cap space to sign the receiver to a new contract. Really, he’s barely top 20 on the payroll today. With receivers Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Marvin Hall, Geronimo Allison, Travis Fulgham, Chris Lacy, Victor Bolden and Geremy Davis only under contract through 2020 as well, the team will need to keep someone to catch passes on the outside.

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As long as Golladay doesn’t push his asking price to astronomical proportions and he puts up this type of projected season, the Detroit Lions should be more than happy to ink a new deal with the rising star wide receiver. They certainly didn’t draft his replacement this season. So, I’ll be looking to see some fireworks from Golladay in 2020, just like the rest of the Honolulu blue faithful.