When Tyler Lockett began the season with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, it was easy to get excited about his small sample size of work. Then he was held to just eight yards on one catch against Massachusetts, and it looked like Lockett might come back down to earth. However, following his 13 catch, 237-yard performance against Texas, Lockett put himself right back in the discussion of the best wide receivers in not just the Big 12 conference, but also the nation.
Tyler Lockett has 469 yards of receiving through four games, ranking him fifth in the nation. With six All-American spots up for grabs at the end of the season (first, second, and third team), here are the top six receivers in the nation – keeping in mind that five All-American slots went to the top six overall receivers last year, with the number seven receiver also earning a nod:
|1||Brandin Cooks||Oregon State||43||639||159.75||7|
|2||Mike Evans||Texas A&M||22||575||143.75||3|
|3||Willie Snead||Ball State||28||480||120||4|
|6||Allen Robinson||Penn State||26||448||112||3|
Lockett only has one touchdown reception this year, and was damn close to a second on Saturday but fell just short. He won’t be finding the end zone a lot this year – Lockett is not a big possession receiver that can find for jump balls in the red zone. At 5’11″ and 175 pounds, Lockett is a burner who gets big plays by beating cornerbacks downfield until they give him big cushions, at which points he’ll quick-hitch teams to death.
It’s difficult to say whether Lockett can continue producing at such a high level through the next eight games. The Texas performance was a bit flukey – he accounted for all but 38 yards of receiving yardage for the team (86 percent of the total) and was the only receiver with a catch at halftime. Yet while 200-yard games may be rare, he could skirt the 100-yard plateau on a weekly basis going forward.
Coaching decisions could play a major role in Lockett’s achievements. The staff neglected the quarterback merry-go-round in the second half and made Jake Waters responsible for the comeback that fell short. While Snyder prefers to play the style of game that emphasizes clock control and is tailor-made for Daniel Sams, Waters has received all four starts this year. Additionally, this team won’t be blowing many opponents out of the water and will be playing from behind in more than one game the rest of the way. That portends several passes, and Lockett is the best target available on the field. In addition to his return capabilities, Lockett remains on track for an All-American season.