Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay is one of the most talented and consistent wide receivers in the NFL, yet he is still widely underrated. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Kenny Golladay, the Detroit Lions’ number one wide receiver, is on the verge of becoming an NFL star. Yet, he is somehow widely under-appreciated in the NFL community. He is not making the big bucks, and he is not hyped up as a top receiver in the league, with Mike Thomas, Julio Jones, and others.

Golladay is currently in extension with Detroit, but it is unknown if they are willing to pay him a top wide receiver’s salary. There have even been rumors swirling that the Giants have been in talks with the Lions about Golladay. While this will not come to fruition, what a waste of talent it would be. Is Golladay appreciated enough in the Detroit offense? I do not think so. Does the NFL appreciate the talent of Kenny Golladay enough? I do not think so.

In just four games this season, Golladay has hauled 20 passes for 338 yards and two scores. He is averaging 16.9 yards per catch, which is the eleventh-highest in the NFL. Golladay has reached over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, a feat he is on pace for again in 2020. For some reason, however, Golladay is never talked about in the conversation for the league’s top fantasy receivers. ESPN Fantasy consistently lists him as a WR3/Flex play each week. How is Kenny Golladay not a lock as a WR1?

Golladay has either caught a touchdown pass or logged 100 receiving yards in every game this season. This is valuable fantasy production at the wide receiver position, which should merit WR1 status. Golladay was a third-to-fourth round fantasy pick, as managers expected high WR2 numbers. He is outperforming any expectations thus far and is playing like one of the best fantasy options at the position.

However, Golladay is under-appreciated in more than just fantasy football. He is never listed as one of the top ten receivers in the NFL. Golladay must be included on this list. There are not ten receivers better than him in this league.

Golladay is the most reliable target Matthew Stafford has seen since Calvin Johnson. He has dropped just 3.5% of his passes since entering the league in 2017. With his 6’4″ frame, Golladay is a threat in the middle of the field and in the end zone to catch a jump ball. Moreover, Golladay is just as dangerous when running a fly route. His footwork is impeccable, and he is tough to bring down after contact.

The Lions’ number one wide receiver is above average at every aspect of the game. He has some of the best hands in football, the best route-running mechanics, and can toe drag like Deandre Hopkins and Julio Jones. When watching Detroit, it is clear that number 19 is one of the best receivers in football.

If he were on a team other than the Detroit Lions, Golladay would undoubtedly get more attention and appreciation. Still, it is incredible that he has not gained the recognition that he deserves. Golladay has finished each of the past two seasons in the top 20 for receiving yards. He has been more productive than receivers such as Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, and Tyreke Hill, all of whom are considered better by the general media. If Golladay were on a playoff team, he would be a unanimous top ten wide receiver.

Whether the media gives him attention or not, Golladay will continue to make plays for the Detroit Lions. In my opinion, he is the seventh or eighth-ranked receiver in the NFL. Detroit has won two straight and has favorable matchups throughout the next month. Additionally, the team appears to be buyers as the trade deadline approaches. Hopefully, the team’s improved play and aggressiveness could help Golladay get the respect and appreciation he deserves as a top wide receiver in this league.

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