Prospect of the Day: Tyler Lockett

Kansas State WR/Returner Tyler Lockett
5'10", 182 lb.
Senior

Bio
Son of former Kansas State star WR/KR Kevin Lockett
Nephew of former Kansas State star WR/KR Aaron Lockett
Tyler (1st), Kevin (2nd) and Aaron (4th) all-time at Kansas State in rec. yards
1st Team All-State as a senior at Booker T. Washington in Tulsa (2010)
Helped lead BTW to a state championship (2010)
Averaged over 18 yards per catch in his senior season (2010)

Honors
Consensus 1st Team All-America - all-purpose/kick returner (2014)
2nd Team All-America - receiver (2014)
Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist (2014)
1st Team All-Big 12 - receiver (2014)
2nd Team All-Big 12 - all-purpose (2014)
Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year (2014)
2nd Team All-America - receiver (2013)
1st Team All-Big 12 - receiver & returner (2013)
2nd Team All-Big 12 - all purpose (2012)
1st Team All-America - kick returner (2011)
1st Team Freshman All-America (2011)
Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year (2011)

Combine Measurements
Arms: 30"
Hand: 8 ⅜"
40-yd dash: 4.40 secs
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: 10'1"
3-cone Drill: 6.89 secs
Short Shuttle: 4.07 secs
Long Shuttle: 11.14 secs

Overall
I don't often think about just one play that defines a player but when considering what makes former Kansas State star wide receiver Tyler Lockett special, one play comes to mind. Against Oklahoma State, Lockett was matched much of the game on an eventual next level player with a ton of confidence - Cowboy CB Kevin Peterson. Although Lockett had a handful of catches in the game, Peterson made his night a little tougher than other games had been in the Big 12 for Lockett. Peterson played press coverage a majority of the time and early in the game, Lockett could easily have run past him on a go route but turned back on a hitch route. As such, Peterson stayed right in his pocket. As I watched, I got upset, honestly. I couldn't understand why Lockett didn't just go to a sight adjust and hit it deep. I mean, he would've had him by a step or three. Alas, he didn't. Peterson sat on the hitch and had the feet and quickness to match that route. Lockett, later in the first half, did the same thing and then did it again early in the second half. Each time I got more and more frustrated.

Texans analyst and radio sideline reporter John Harris unveiled his top 100 prospects for the NFL Draft. (Photos courtesy of AP)

Then, later in the second half, the picture truly came into focus. Same press coverage, similar start to the route, then ZOOM, Lockett was gone. He sold Peterson on the hitch, the Cowboy CB turned his head for a split second to look for the ball and Lockett sprinted down the sideline WIDE OPEN on the hitch and go. Double move killer. It's just an odd sight to see a receiver that wide open vs. a guy that had challenged him all night long. But, Lockett was so quick after the hitch that even had Peterson anticipated the double move, Lockett still would've left him in dust.

Oh, I forgot to mention that QB Jake Waters sailed the throw, his worst of the night probably, but Lockett fully extended and made a fingertip catch for the biggest gain of the night.

Having seen him eviscerate defenders at the Senior Bowl and literally leave good CB going one way while he darted the other, this play stood out because it reminded me how difficult it is to cover him one-on-one anywhere on the field. It reminded me how quick he is out of his breaks. It reminded me how he can make you miss in a phone booth. It reminded me what a dynamic player his father was. Okay, that's a different story altogether. Regardless, it's called breaking ankles out on the basketball court and Lockett has done his fairing share of sending young cats to the hospital, proverbially speaking, out on the gridiron.

Quote
"Tyler Lockett is a really good player. He's very underrated. We've covered a lot of good people and he's hard to cover and does a really good job" - TCU head coach Gary Patterson

What to like
--Not the biggest receivers, but will "push off" to get separation...subtly of course
--Saw him completely spin 1-on-1 defenders around at the Senior Bowl
--Footwork is stellar, running routes, break off on in routes and slants
--So sudden in and out of his breaks
--Doesn't get a ton of opportunities to high point the ball, but v. Oklahoma State he made a great high point catch on a backshoulder throw for a TD (after a sweet, again subtle, push off on DB)
--Makes an opposing coach's heart skip a beat when he catches a punt with a little run to room - wow, he's dynamic
--Double moves? WOW. I've seen him completely lose good college corners with his variety of double moves.
--Fearless. Not scared running across the middle, not fearful knowing he'll get jacked on deep route (v. Oklahoma on deep post - tremendous catch)
--Didn't spend much time in the slot as I mentioned, but when he lined up there, he was a threat - v. Oklahoma, a few plays after his great downfield catch, he split the seam from No. 3 position, accelerated into the opening and caught what should've been a huge touchdown (penalty negated). If he does that at this level...look out.

What needs some work
--Constrained a bit by a true college offense - will need work on inside receiver routes
--Played outside the entire season - rarely did he run inside slot routes
--Learned some bad habits as a route runner, not reading defensive backs as he should've based on the run/pass option inherent in the Wildcats scheme.
--Needs to be more active, precise and violent with his hands to get loose against press coverage.
--Lets ball get into his body as opposed to snatching with hands out in front on occasion - when forced to use his hands on curls slants, etc...he's not cleaning catching the rock.
--Has less than 9' hands - see above point.
--Still slight and can get bounced around/held on crossing routes, etc...

Projection
In my opinion, Lockett will be a wonderful, inside slot receiver at the next level and might be the best out of this class in that regard. He didn't play a ton on the inside at Kansas State, especially as a senior, but he possesses the requisite skills teams desire at that position. The gold standards are Green Bay's Randall Cobb and New England's Julian Edelman and I see some of both in Lockett.

Success in the NFL for Lockett, though, will come down to his understanding of coverage, consistency of his QB and innovation within the offensive scheme to find ways to get him the ball. That said, in the right place, at the right time, he's the right guy to be a consistent winner between the numbers, and even outside the numbers in certain situations.

Take a look at Tyler Lockett's college career at Kansas State.

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