RENTON -- Even before the acquisition of Josh Gordon last Friday, the Seattle Seahawks already had two productive wide receivers putting up numbers in their offense.
Tyler Lockett had a career-year in 2018 and is looking to take his productive to even higher levels in 2019 as he's on pace to set franchise records for receptions and yards through the first nine games of the year. Meanwhile, DK Metcalf could set rookie receiving records as well before the season is over and is coming off his first 100-yard game of his career against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I’m looking forward to the next several years of those guys and where we can go," quarterback Russell Wilson said on Friday.
Lockett posted 10 touchdowns last season and had a perfect 158.3 passer rating in combination with Wilson throughout the season. Through nine games this season, Lockett has already surpassed his receptions total from a season ago. He has 59 catches for 767 yards and six touchdowns in 2019 after posting 57 receptions for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.
Lockett is currently on pace for 105 catches and 1,364 yards this season. He would become the first player in franchise history to top 100 receptions or 1,300 receiving yards in a season. Doug Baldwin and Bobby Engram are tied for most receptions in a season with 94 in 2016 and 2007, respectively. Steve Largent holds the record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,287 in 1985. In fact, Largent has three of the four 1,200-yard receiving seasons in franchise history with Koren Robinson's 1,240 in 2002 serving as the other entry.
"He’s made every play," Wilson said. "He can do anything you want him to do. He’s got a lot of catches. He’s got a lot of yards. He’s got a lot of touchdowns in the past two years. He’s really special."
Meanwhile, Metcalf has fulfilled the excitement the Seahawks had for him heading into the season. Wilson looked his way repeatedly in the fourth quarter and overtime of the win against the Buccaneers on Sunday when the offense needed big plays. A 53-yard touchdown to Metcalf against cornerback Jamel Dean, two catches for 24 yards on the final drive of regulation to set up a game-winning field goal attempt, and a brilliant 29-yard back-shoulder catch that set up the game-winning touchdown in overtime were all critical plays made by the rookie from Ole Miss.
“You’re seeing it first hand how much he’s trusting me. Just continue to build on that and hopefully get to a level to where him and Tyler are," Metcalf said.
“I had to grow up fast. He was throwing the ball to me in big time situations. Not only him trusting me but coach (Brian Schottenheimer) trusting me. The whole team trusts me just to be out there. It was a big task to take on but thank God for the opportunity and just have to make the most of it.”
Metcalf caught six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Buccaneers. He also caught a two-point conversion, which isn't included in the receptions statistic but was a critical pair of points for Seattle following a missed Jason Myers extra point.
"I think DK just stepped up to the challenge," Wilson said. "He’s been tremendous. He’s been one of the best rookies in the National Football League. He keeps making catches. He keeps making plays running away from guys. ... He’s prepared to be a true pro, to try to be great. He’s on his way just by his work ethic."
He's caught 29 passes for 525 yards and five touchdowns through the first five games of the season. He has a chance to set franchise records for a rookie receiver in at least two of those categories. Joey Galloway is the only Seattle rookie to ever post a 1,000-yard season. He caught 67 passes for 1,039 yards and seven touchdowns in 1995 for Seattle. The 67 receptions and 1,039 yards are franchise highs for a rookie. Daryl Turner's 10 touchdowns in 1984 represent the franchise record for receiving touchdowns by a rookie.
Metcalf is on pace for 52 receptions, 933 yards and nine touchdowns this year. While Galloway's receptions mark may be out of reach, Metcalf would appear to be within striking distance of the other two records over the final seven weeks of the season.
"I’ve always got to live in the moment, not make the moment too big. Just happy to be here, happy to be in the league making plays and playing for an NFL team," Metcalf said.
Now the Seahawks get to add a former All-Pro and the 2013 NFL receiving leader into the mix as well.
"He’s been great since he’s gotten here," Wilson said of Gordon. "He’s been studying like crazy. He sits up [front] and takes tons of notes. He’s highlighting like crazy. He’s in his playbook nonstop. He’s prepared. He’ll be prepared and ready to roll. He’s a true pro. He’s been in different systems and stuff like that. I think that helps him. I think he’s really fired up to be here. We’re fired up to have him. We’re looking forward to how he plays on Sunday."
Gordon is dealing with a minor ankle injury that he came to Seattle with after his release from the New England Patriots last week. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said after practice on Friday that he hasn't noticed it being a hindrance for Gordon as he acclimates to his new offense.
"He's moving around really good out there. I haven't asked him but I don't notice anything about it. ... He's moving around good," Schottenheimer said.
While Jaron Brown, David Moore and Malik Turner are capable receivers beyond Lockett and Metcalf, Gordon has more proven production in his history and has shown himself capable of being a top-tier pass catcher. He could help ensure that even when Lockett and Metcalf leave the field for a breather, the Seahawks have a dangerous pass catcher on the field at all times.
"He’s done a really nice job of picking up the system," Schottenheimer said. "Very impressed with just the timing that he and Russell are working through or working on. You can see the veteran. He knows how to play the game. You can see how he’s picked up the system pretty quick. Been very, very positive.”
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 03: Wide receiver DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CenturyLink Field on November 3, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks beat the Buccaneers 40-34 in overtime. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)