I don’t really want to be the guy referencing his own tweet right off the bat, but this article doesn’t exist without this observation…


The Seattle Seahawks are having a disastrous season that finds them at 5-8 with a 3% chance to make the playoffs (a rate that goes down to 0.2% with a loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15), per FiveThirtyEight. There is an increasing possibility due to the lack of high draft capital and few other building blocks on the roster, this could be the last ride for the current era of the Seahawks.

But within all of that, Russell Wilson can still throw a pretty deep ball and Tyler Lockett can track it. Lockett has been one of the league’s most underrated receivers since he entered the league in 2015 and in some cases, he’s become so widely known as underrated that he’s actually properly rated, but within the disappointing Seattle season this year, Lockett just eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for the third straight season. The ways in which he’s gotten there have been quite different. Lockett is currently 31 yards shy of his 2020 receiving total with 38 fewer receptions. 

Much of that is due to the success Lockett is having on deep targets. More specifically, Lockett is having one of the best deep receiving seasons we’ve seen in recent memory and not enough people are talking about it.

We, here now, will talk about it.

Through Week 14, Lockett leads all receivers in targets (30), receptions (16), and yards (622) on throws of at least 20 air yards. We’re going to focus on those yards for a little bit.

Lockett’s 622-yard figure is 202 yards more than the next closest receiver (Cooper Kupp) this season. There are only 33 receivers, Lockett and Kupp included, that have at least 202 receiving yards on deep passes in 2021. The gap between Lockett and Kupp is bigger than the gap between Kupp as No. 30. Here is Lockett’s gap illustrated:

This isn’t just a deep receiving season good for 2021. Since Sports Info Solutions data starts in 2015, no receiver has more deep receiving yards than Lockett’s current season. Another graph would look similar to the 2021 version, but instead, we’ll use a table for the top-10 deep receiving figures through Week 14 since 2015. Lockett leads in both yards and receptions while he’s tied for 10th in targets.

Deep Receiving Yards Through Week 14, 2015-2021

2021Tyler LockettSeahawks3016622
2018Tyreek HillChiefs3615582
2019Kenny GolladayLions3114546
2019Stefon DiggsVikings2112529
2017Brandin CooksPatriots2814528
2015Allen RobinsonJaguars4015522
2015A.J. GreenBengals2512490
2020DK MetcalfSeahawks2612480
2017Tyreek HillChiefs2210479
2015Sammy WatkinsBills3012475

If Lockett didn’t catch another deep ball, he’d already end with one of the best deep receiving seasons we’ve seen since 2015. As you’d imagine a few of the names from the previous table show up in the season-long table, but Lockett’s current figures would land as the sixth-most deep receiving yards over a full season in the SIS era.

Full Season Deep Receiving Yards, 2015-2021

2018Tyreek HillChiefs4218714
2019Kenny GolladayLions3717649
2015Allen RobinsonJaguars4517634
2017Tyreek HillChiefs2513628
2019Stefon DiggsVikings2615624
2021Tyler LockettSeahawks3016622
2017Brandin CooksPatriots3516608
2015Sammy WatkinsBills3616606
2017Marvin JonesLions3015568
2016DeSean JacksonRedskins3215550

This started almost immediately in Week 1 with a nice 69-yard touchdown on a double move against the Indianapolis Colts.



Lockett is such a smooth route runner, so it’s no surprise he’s done so much of his damage on deep crossers. The Seahawks have taken advantage of lining up Lockett across the formation to change the leverage on those crossing routes. Lockett can set up the vertical stem from both the slot and outside that leaves a free middle of the field. They’ve taken advantage of some zone coverage that has left some huge holes for Lockett to run through.

Per SIS, Lockett leads the league in yards on deep crossers with 199. The way Lockett and the Seahawks have set up some of those throws has led for plenty of room after the catch. Lockett’s 72 yards after the catch on those plays would rank ninth in total yards on that route.


It’s unclear what the future looks like for the Seahawks, but it’s likely to include Lockett. The 29-year-old receiver signed a four-year extension in April worth $69 million with $37 million in guarantees. Trading Lockett before June 1 would cause the Seahawks to lose $18.15 million in cap space thanks to $28.2 million in dead money. Trading him after June 1 would only free up $3 million.

Whatever Seattle’s 2022 offense will look like, Lockett’s ability to track the deep ball is going to be a big part of it. For the rest of the 2021 season, Lockett’s insane production on those passes might be the best thing the Seahawks have going for them. Everyone understands Lockett is good, but what he’s done this season deserves a closer look.