Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio NFL Lens examines second-year Lions receiver Kenny Golladay. Will he become a primary option in Detroit in 2018?
Big, strong, and fast receivers who can rebound are exciting NFL prospects, and the excitement surrounding Golladay is warranted. After watching several of his games in 2017, there’s reason for optimism that Golladay can become an every-down option in the NFL. There are also enough reasons for optimism that Golladay will improve upon his 2017 production as a significant part of the Lions’ three-man receiving rotation.
As for thoughts from the fantasy football community that Golladay will overtake Marvin Jones as the primary receiver this year, they’re reaching.
Golladay is a physical talent who can catch. Unless he learns at an unusual rate — even for the promising physical talent that he is — Golladay will not be the Lions’ leading receiver this year unless a injuries take down Jones and Golden Tate.
The series of short Twitter videos below reviews Golladay’s prominent skills, flaws, and usage in the Lions offense:
- Marvin Jones’s vertical skills create mismatches for Golladay in the intermediate and deep passing game.
- Golden Tate’s prowess in the middle of the field opens shallow zones for Golladay.
- Jones and Tate open large zones of turf for Golladay as a runner after the catch.
- Golladay has a wide catch radius and strong boundary awareness.
- Golladay’s route breaks need to be on the same wavelength as his quarterback’s expectations.
- Golladay has more success against off-man coverage and zone when he faces a less proven cornerback.
- Veteran cornerbacks who play off-man or tight man are still a bigger challenge for him.
At this point, Golladay is not a complete route runner. He doesn’t need to become a master of the entire route tree and press coverage to become a productive contributor this year. However, the Lions will need him to develop along these lines if Golladay is to become more than a big-play contributor in a starting lineup.
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