Coming off Pro Bowl, Detroit Lions’ Kenny Golladay continues to impress Matthew Stafford

Detroit Free Press

Kenny Golladay made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season and Matthew Stafford said Tuesday he likes the way the Detroit Lions receiver has continued to mold himself into a better player.

“I think Kenny, like a lot of guys on our team, have done a great job of working themselves into the players that they are,” the Lions quarterback said. “I think Kenny’s done a heck of a job.

“He obviously wasn’t a first-round pick, a guy that everybody was ranting and raving about before the draft. We got him and I think the coaches that we have have done an awesome job coaching him. I’ve done as good a job as I can to try to be a good teammate and try to help him out from there. And then the rest is on him.”

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Golladay, 26, has improved every season since the Lions drafted him in the third round out of Northern Illinois in 2017. Last year, he led the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns and had a career-best 1,190 receiving yards.

That makes Golladay one of the NFL’s promising up-and-coming receivers. Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell recently said he thinks Golladay can be even more than that.

“Really you want him to be thought of in those upper-echelon guys with the (DeAndre) Hopkins and (Michael) Thomas, those type of players, where he really is dictating to the defense how they have to cover him,” Bevell said. “Sometimes (when) that guy gets double coverage, they’re worried about him all the time and you help your teammates, but when you’re in that go-to opportunity and that’s the guy that everybody knows Kenny Golladay’s getting the ball and everybody knows he’s still going to make the play, that’s really where we’re trying to get him to, to be that dominant level player.”

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If Bevell and the Lions’ brass believe Golladay truly has that potential, it could lead to a big payday. He’s scheduled to make $2.133 million this fall in the final year of his rookie contract. He could land a deal with the Lions that pays him in the $18 million per-season range.

“He’s worked his tail off to be the player that he is and frankly I’ve seen nothing but the same this offseason,” Stafford said. “Excited for his development, as I am a lot of guys on our team. I think we’ve got a great group of guys and some guys that can really go and make plays and obviously he’s a big part of that.”

Contact Carlos Monarrez at and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

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