Kenny Golladay was the best contested catch guy in 2019

Credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images /

Kenny Golladay took another step last year, and he was literally the best contested-catch receiver in the NFL.

After catching 70 passes and topping 1,000 yards for the first time in his career in 2018, Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay reached another level in his third season last year. He finished third in the NFL in yards per catch (18.3), seventh in receiving yards (1,190), along with a league-high (by himself) 11 touchdowns.

Golladay, or “Babytron” as he is nicknamed, did what he did in 2019 with Matthew Stafford out the final eight games.

Over eight games with Stafford, Golladay had 35 receptions for 640 yards and seven touchdowns with four 100-yard outings.

In eight games with Jeff Driskel and David Blough attempting to play quarterback, Golladay had 30 catches for 550 yards and four touchdowns. He topped 60 yards four times in those last eight games. Without a fluke 75-yard touchdown on Thanksgiving Day, he would not have topped 80 yards in any game of that span.

Given the dramatic drop off in quarterback play during the second half of the season, albeit without direct accounting for a Stafford/without Stafford split, it’s not too surprising Golladay was (or had to be) productive on contested catches last year. He literally had the most receiving yards on contested catches in the league, besting DeVante Parker and more notably Mike Williams and Julio Jones.

Golladay is entering the final year of his rookie contract. There has to be some sense of urgency to get a deal done on the Lions end, sine he would have been even better last year if Stafford had been healthy all the way. Another good season, with a some improvement possible in concert with 16 games of capable quarterbacking, will line Golladay up for a huge contract.

Golladay seems to have another level in him in 2020, as everything ideally comes together. That’s a scary thought for opposing defensive backs who are already struggling to contain him.

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