Kansas State's Tyler Lockett Would Love to Play for Andy Reid

Lockett has family ties to the Chiefs, something he embraces as he begins his NFL career

He's too small, too short.

That's the knock on Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett, who measured in at 5-foot-9 and 181 pounds last week at the National Scouting Weigh-In at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Lockett, who became the most prolific receiver in Kansas State history this past season, tried to ease some of those concerns while competing with 110 of the best players in the country.

According to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, Lockett was impressive enough to be listed among his three "buzzworthy" players after just one day of practice.  

"I was impressed with his stop-start quickness and burst getting out of his breaks," Brooks wrote. "He has a knack for setting defenders up with a little wiggle at the top of routes, and his strong hands stood out when he plucked the ball effortlessly out of the air in drills."

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Lockett, who was also a standout returner at K-State, became the school's first four-time All-American after a stellar senior season.

He finished with 106 receptions for 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns and also averaged over 19 yards per punt return. He will leave K-State with 17 different school records, including career marks for receptions, yards receiving, touchdowns receiving, 100-yard receiving games, kickoff-return attempts and kickoff-return yards.

A lot of those records were previously owned by Lockett's father, Kevin, who after a standout career for himself in Manhattan, was the Kansas City Chiefs' second-round draft pick in 1997 (No. 47 overall).

His uncle, Aaron, was also a standout receiver for the Wildcats.

"I've always followed in my dad's footsteps as well as my uncle's," Lockett said. "I went to the same middle school as my dad and uncle. I went to the same high school and college."

For Lockett, the continuation of following in those footsteps could land him with the Chiefs, something he would enjoy.

"I would love to play for the Kansas City Chiefs," he said. "Andy Reid is a great coach. If the Chiefs give me an opportunity, I'll take it and I'll run with it."

Lockett ran with his opportunity at the Senior Bowl, where he consistently turned heads with his ability to get open and make plays down the field.

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"It was a chance to compete and you know I love to compete, so I couldn't turn it down," Lockett said of his opportunity. "I wanted to see where I'm at with this receiving class and it was another chance for me to get better.

"You also get the opportunity to network, meet with scouts and they're able to see what you're about. Not too many people get that opportunity."

After his performance, Lockett was named one of the stars of Senior Bowl week by Sports Illustrated.

But before he was given the chance to compete with the best in the country at this prestigious event, Lockett was putting in the work and earning the right to that opportunity during his four-year stay in Manhattan.

That work, which helped define the player he is today, was about the details, the smaller things that are often overlooked by the average player.

Despite not being 6-foot-3 and weighing 200 pounds, which can be seen as the ideal size for an NFL receiver, Lockett showed the more than 1,000 NFL personnel guys in Mobile that it didn't matter who he was matched up against. Regardless of size, he was going to win that battle.

Lockett shared what he believed was the reason for his success in winning many of those battles during his career at K-State.  

"I think it was because of route running," he explained. "But at the same time, I just honestly think it was about understanding the game. [Quarterback] Jake (Waters) and I had a great relationship and we understood the game."

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When asked for an example, Lockett spoke of K-State's final game against UCLA and showed what being the son of a former NFL receiver sounded like.  

"If they put a safety over the top, it's pointless to run an outside route. You have to run a slant. You have to run a 10-and-in. You have to run something inside in order to get open. If it was too high, we understood, OK, run a hash-corner or a corner-post to be able to get open.

"Because we knew the game, we were able to switch things around. So, we always kept the defense on their toes."

With a father and an uncle who played in the NFL, it's obvious that Lockett was going to be a student of the game.

But his ability to process the information throughout the course of a game at K-State is what really made the difference.

"I'd look at the defensive backs and see what they would do and I'd tell Jake (Waters), 'Hey, I like this against this person or I like this against this person,'" he explained. "'I won't run this route because he lunges so it's not going to work. It works against somebody who backpedals against press.'

"We were able to understand that type of stuff, so whenever we got in a situation, he'd just look at me and say 'OK. I remember what we talked about. I'll give you this or I'll give you that.'"

Photos of the Kansas State WR, Tyler Lockett

The ability for Lockett to understand this part of the game as well as he does should serve him well as he goes through the draft process.

Lockett, along with fellow K-State senior receiver Curry Sexton, who's actually the nephew of Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, had 185 of the 271 receptions for the Wildcats last season.

Consequently, all those targets and receptions meant a lot of attention would be put on Lockett every Saturday, something he thrived on overcoming.  

"Regardless if they had to double-team or triple-team me, put a safety over the top or play straight man-to-man, I had to win and I always tried to find a way to win," Lockett said.

And more often than not, Lockett won.

In the final five games of his career, Lockett had 57 receptions for 833 yards and six touchdowns, including a 13-catch, 164-yard, two-touchdown performance against UCLA in the Alamo Bowl in his final career game. 

Because of the obvious connection of Lockett's father, Kevin, who was given his first opportunity in the NFL by the Chiefs, many throughout Chiefs Kingdom have hoped for the same fortune for Tyler.

"A lot of people said 'I hope you go to the Chiefs, I hope you go to the Chiefs, because that's a two-hour drive from Manhattan and we'd be able to come watch you play,'" Lockett laughingly said. "At the end of the day, if the Chiefs give me that opportunity, I'll love it.

"I won't look back." Until then, Chiefs fans will keep looking forward—to the draft.

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