Detroit Lions fans saw glimpses of what receiver Kenny Golladay can bring to the table during his rookie campaign.
In his regular season debut vs. Arizona, he caught two touchdowns, including a diving, full extension 45-yard grab in the end zone.
Fans got to see his power and speed on display in the regular-season finale on a 54-yard touchdown when he stiff-armed a defender and outran the defense to the end zone.
In between those bookend performances, there was a five-game stretch of missed games due to a hamstring injury and some other inconsistencies, which is a hallmark of most rookie seasons.
But those two performances to begin and end the 2017 season show there’s a lot of potential with Golladay, potential offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is hoping shines bright in his second season.
“I’m really excited (for Kenny),” Cooter said last week at the team’s Miller Lite draft party. “Going from your first year to your second year in this league you can really make some strides. Kenny’s got the ability to do some special things.
“We’ve got to get him better and he knows that. He’s got to get better. But he’s working hard and working in the right direction, and we look forward to him being a big part of our offense next year.”
The Lions return their top two receivers from a year ago in Marvin Jones Jr. (1,101 receiving yards) and Golden Tate (1,003). Golladay, who caught 28 passes for 477 yards and three scores in 11 games, is expected to be an integral part of the passing game alongside Jones and Tate with his 6-foot-4 frame and ability to make plays down the field.
A third-round pick out of Northern Illinois last offseason, Golladay averaged 17.0 yards per catch and recorded six receptions of more than 30 yards.
Former Lions receiver and current NFL Network analyst Nate Burleson told detroitlions.com at the Super Bowl that Golladay has the potential to develop into a No. 1 receiver.
All the physical tools are there with Golladay, and he seems to have the right mindset on wanting to work and become a good player. He should be much more polished with a year under his belt.
Cooter has every right to be excited about Golladay’s potential in his offense in year two.