Kenny Golladay is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he led the NFL in touchdowns. After the young wideout generated back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard seasons, the Lions want to see Golladay hit another level.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, entering his second year in Detroit, noted that the Lions need Golladay to be a DeAndre Hopkins- or Michael Thomas-type playmaker for the offense.
"He had a really nice year last year for us and we hope he continues to have many more like that," Bevell said Saturday in a Zoom call with reporters, via the team's official website. "There's specific things that we're talking to him that he can take his game to the next level. Really, you want him to be thought of with the Hopkins and Thomas and those type of players, where he is really dictating to the defense how they have to cover him.
"Sometimes that's where that guy gets double covered, he's worried about all the time, and you help your teammates. But when you're in that go-to opportunity, and that's the guy, and it's like everyone knows Kenny Golladay's getting the ball and everyone knows he's still going to make the play. That's really where we're trying to get him to, be that dominant-level player."
Much of Golladay's production last season came in the first eight games before Matthew Stafford went down with a back injury. After four 100-plus-yard games in the first eight tilts, he put up just one game over the century mark in the final eight weeks with backups. Seven of his league-high 11 TDs came with Stafford in the lineup.
Golladay isn't on the level of Hopkins or Thomas in that he can consistently beat defenders off the line under any circumstances. Even if he doesn't reach that All-World level, there remains room for improvement for an uber-talented wideout.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract, we've heard nary a whisper about an extension getting done soon. If Golladay hits heights that Bevell believes he can reach, that deal will only get more expensive.
Detroit owns a solid wideout trio in Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. The key to the group getting to the next level is Golladay making the leap from young stud player to a star who can win every snap.