Round 3: Seahawks take WR Tyler Lockett after trading up to No. 69

May 1, 2015, 7:01 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2016, 10:50 am
Tyler Lockett is the second player in the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era that the Seahawks traded up to take in the NFL Draft. (AP)

RENTON – The Seahawks made a rare trade up on the second day of the NFL Draft in order to select Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett, a diminutive but incredibly productive wide receiver who addresses an immediate need on special teams.

After staying put in the second round and selecting defensive end Frank Clark from Michigan, Seattle moved up in the third round to No. 69. The Seahawks sent Washington their third round pick (No. 95 overall) along with a fourth (112), a fifth (167) and a sixth (181).

That was an awfully steep price Seattle had to pay in order to move up 26 spots, and it’s fair to wonder whether it was worth paying for a player who might not make an immediate impact on offense. The Seahawks said Lockett will initially back up Doug Baldwin, who is Seattle’s starting slot receiver and is under contract for two more seasons.

Seattle, though, viewed Lockett as the premier kick returner in this year’s the draft and believes he’ll step into both roles right away.

“As a return specialist, he really adds that to our team, knowing that he can be our punt returner, he can be our kickoff returner,” Carroll said. “It’s just so obvious, we think that’s an area of our football team we needed improvement at and we could hit it with one guy.”

Lockett is only the second player the Seahawks have traded up for under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, which gives you an indication of how highly they regard him.

Lockett, who’s 5 feet 11 and 183 pounds, is one of the most productive receivers in this year’s draft, having broken his own father’s school record at Kansas State with 249 receptions, 3,710 yards and 29 touchdowns during his four seasons.

“He is just a real savvy route runner, he’s got a great feel for zone and sitting down,” Schneider said, describing the traits of a good slot receiver. “He just made plays all of the time. One of the teams was disappointed in not being able to acquire him and they called me and were like, ‘The guy just continues to make play after play after play.’ ”

Lockett averaged 28.5 yards per kickoff return, 15.3 yards per punt returned and scored a combined six touchdowns between the two during four seasons at Kansas State. As high as the Seahawks might be on his potential as a slot receiver, Carroll and Schneider left the impression that they’re most excited about the immediate boost he can provide to Seattle’s special teams.

“He’s not just a returner, he can do other things, too, and we will bring him along,” Carroll said, “but it’s really the return specialist opportunity we thought was really unique, and there was nobody else like him in the draft.”

Lockett was a guest on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” in February. He said during that conversation and again Friday that an NFL receiver to which he compares is Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, who is similarly sized and led the league in receiving last season.

Seattle will enter the final day of the draft with six more picks, the first of which is the second-to-last selection in the fourth round (130).

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Round 3: Seahawks take WR Tyler Lockett after trading up to No. 69