After the completion of the 2014 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals cut Josh Johnson and signed 1o undrafted free agents, and among them was Colin Lockett, a wide receiver out of San Diego State.
Lockett was a five year player at SDSU, and also occasionally returned kicks. Lockett is 5-foot-11 and after the departure of wide receiver Andrew Hawkins to the Cleveland Browns, Lockett may be just what the Bengals can use to replace Hawkins.
Lockett looks to be a front runner among the undrafted free agents to make the team because of his abilities on special teams. At San Diego State, he returned 92 kickoffs for 2,216 yards. He is a very versatile player, showing his athletic ability by playing on offense, special teams, and defense. He spent his freshman year at SDSU playing on the defensive side of the ball, and then switched over to offense for the rest of his time at San Diego State. He posted 130 receptions and 1,999 receiving yards at SDSU.
Lockett was ranked the 75th best wide receiver in the 2014 draft after receiving an honorable mention on the All-Mountain West Conference team, and the Bengals saw the potential in him. After Andrew Hawkins left to division rival Cleveland, the Bengals needed to find someone who could match Hawkins’ size and skill in the slot.
Lockett will face some competition though, if he wants to see some playing time on offense. Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who Lockett resembles almost identically physically, is in the running to be the new slot receiver. Sanzenbacher started to get some more playing time as the season went on last year and showed that he is fully capable of taking over the slot position. If Lockett can impress in OTAs and into training camp, he’ll be able to challenge Sanzenbacher for some playing time in the slot.
Lockett does not have any super obvious weaknesses, and the only thing holding him back his rookie year could be just the adjustments he needs to make from college to the NFL and to a different offense and new quarterback. His greatest chances to make the team is to show his impressive skills on special teams, and he could just replace Brandon Tate as the Bengals kick returner. Tate has a tendency to dance around too much when trying to find a path when returning the ball, and Lockett could be a nice change of pace with his athletic ability while returning kicks.
Lockett looks like he has a very good chance of making the team despite not being drafted. The Bengals are in need of a slot receiver and kick returner and Lockett has the ability to fill both roles.