There is no quicker way to fall into the trap of believing this season of Detroit Lions football is going to be different than any of the past 50 than by following preseason camp closely.
With that being said, it is remarkable how much buzz rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay is getting.
Golladay was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois University, and is already expected to make a huge impact for the Lions, especially in the redzone. In order to be a redzone target, one would assume Golladay to be a big body, and that is exactly right.
Standing at 6-foot-4, 213-pounds, Golladay can use his size to his advantage, and go up and get balls that others simply cannot. An advantage that is not lost on Golladay, telling Kyle Meinke of MLive.
“Me being that big body, I got to come down with the ball… Not a lot of corners are my height. They’re going to be shorter than me, so I got to make that play when my number is called.”
And according to reports, Golladay has been making those plays consistently in practice. Golladay beat veteran corner for Nevin Lawson for a touchdown in the redzone, after which Lawson said:
“I think he’s going to be a beast. He’s still a rookie, he has a lot to learn, but one thing you can’t teach that he has is just going and attacking that ball. (On that TD he scored against me), it was just the release that he did, and him being able to go and get that ball. He’s just so good at going and attacking that ball.”
Lawson isn’t alone in his praise of Golladay. Last week, six-time pro bowl receiver Chad Johnson visited the Lions camp and was so impressed by Golladay he sent out this tweet.
I'm not a scout but I know my shit, Golladay is gone be special ® pic.twitter.com/ynIcAmlSZE
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 4, 2017
If you need clarification on what was special about that particular clip, Johnson has you covered there as well.
Most receivers would panic losing sight of the DB on an out breaking route & cut it short, to remain patient & still get underneath is dope. https://t.co/Ri86VcKVGo
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 5, 2017
“That was great. I almost want to call him one of the GOATs, you know?” Golladay said. “Me and him talked after, and he told me I have a bright future, and to just keep working hard.”
If Golladay continues to put in the work, he will see himself in the Lions lineup sooner rather than later, and his obvious physical advantages should make him the top redzone target from day one. It’s not only fellow players that have glowing words for Golladay. The man making the decisions, head coach Jim Caldwell, is a big fan as well.
“Every day he shows you a little something just in terms of his characteristic ability to catch the ball,” Caldwell said. “He’s long, obviously. He’s a good target. But he’s also got a real wide catching radius, so all over the field we can use him.
“The other thing, oftentimes you’ll find guys that are long, that are long striders, that don’t get it going pretty quickly. But he can run. … The No. 1 thing that you got to have is speed, and he can run. So that in itself will set up a lot of other things. But I think you’ll see him get to the point too where he’s starting to kind of back guys in the corner with his height and ability to jump over the top and things of that nature.”
Golladay’s speed isn’t even something we have talked about yet, but he did run a 4.5 40 yard dash at the NFL combine, which will make him even more of a threat every time he steps onto the field.
Before he has even played a down in the NFL, the Kenny Golladay hype train has left the station like a speeding bullet. It will be interesting to see exactly how the Lions use Golladay, especially early in the season, if he continues to wow in practice.