Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player name – D.K. Metcalf
2.) College – Ole Miss
3.) Height/Weight – 6’4’’, 225 lbs
4.) Birth date – 12/14/1997
5.) Class – Redshirt Sophomore
6.) Basic college stats – 2016: two receptions for 13 yards and two touchdowns. 2017: 39 receptions for 646 yards and seven touchdowns. 2018: 26 receptions for 569 yards and five touchdowns.
7.) NFL Draft round projection – Round one. Medicals are going to play a big part in determining how NFL teams view Metcalf, but if everything checks out, he’s almost a lock for the first round. Some mock drafts have placed him inside the top five selections overall.
8.) Current NFL comparison – Josh Gordon.
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I’ve been a fan of Josh Gordon for a long time, and the similarities between him and Metcalf go beyond their nearly identical physical statures. Both of them had limited production profiles in college for different reasons – Gordon struggled with substance abuse and suspensions, while Metcalf battled multiple injuries.
On the field, Metcalf shows upside as a route runner but is far from polished at this point in his career, although he has shown improvement year over year thus far. Also, due to Ole Miss’ scheme, Metcalf was primarily limited to routes on the boundary of the field and has limited experience running the full route tree – similar to Gordon coming out of Baylor (and Utah). Both players have/had immense upside.
9.) Best possible destination – Cleveland Browns.
The Browns finally have their franchise quarterback, an established running game, and an accomplished slot receiver. What they’re missing is an alpha X receiver, which is what Metcalf projects best as – assuming he hits his upside. Because he’s not the most polished player yet, Metcalf is a gamble for many teams without the supporting pieces the Browns currently have in place. Landing in Cleveland would allow Metcalf to grow alongside the other young pieces of that offense without the team relying on him to carry their aerial attack as a rookie.
10.) Worst possible destination – Baltimore Ravens.
I am a Lamar Jackson fan, but as expected, he has struggled with accuracy to begin his career. John Brown, who was a viable fantasy wideout to start the season with Joe Flacco at the helm, cratered under Jackson’s watch. At this point in his career, Jackson cannot support a fantasy-viable pass-catcher due to the run-heavy nature of the Ravens offense. For these reasons, I would rather see Metcalf land somewhere else.
11.) Best current skill – Size/speed/downfield threat.
You can’t teach speed, and having prototypical size to go along with it is also ideal. But combining physical features with traits and abilities is what we look for in potential dynasty assets, and Metcalf’s calling card is his ability downfield. His route running is somewhat raw at this point, but he’s learned how to defeat press coverage in a variety of ways. Once free, his acceleration allows him to motor past defenders and stack defensive backs in an impressive fashion. Metcalf tracks the ball over his shoulder well and excels after the catch.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – For him to truly develop into a WR1 at the NFL level, he will need to improve on his route running. Like most wide receiver prospects, he doesn’t run a full route tree yet, but Metcalf has been particularly limited to the left boundary of the field by Mississippi’s scheme – running primarily curls, hitches, comebacks, and go routes.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – We don’t yet have rookie ADP to work with, but DLF’s consensus rookie ranks pit Metcalf as the top player in this year’s class, with three rankers placing him first. One ranker has Metcalf as low as seventh overall (and the WR4).
14.) Projected dynasty value – Because he’s a polarizing prospect, his value may be all over the map. However, ADP is an aggregation and an average of multiple mock drafts. The owner who selects Metcalf in each draft is likely going to be the highest on him among all people drafting, so I’d expect his ADP to begin high and continue to rise all off-season. Considering Metcalf is ranked as our 1.01, he’ll likely land in the third or fourth round of startups this off-season. As mentioned multiple times, if he begins to flash and show promise, his price will skyrocket.
It will likely take more than one poor season for his stock to really crater if he’s not panning out — similar to DeVante Parker’s ADP journey.
15.) Family bloodlines – Metcalf’s family tree and bloodlines are truly insane. D.K.’s father, uncle, and grandfather all played in the NFL for multiple seasons. His father Terrence was an All-American offensive lineman at Ole Miss that played in the NFL for nine seasons. His uncle Eric was a three-time All-Pro and one of the most versatile players of all time, totaling nearly 8,000 scrimmage yards and 59 total touchdowns over a 13-year career at running back, wide receiver, and returner. His grandfather, Terry, was also a versatile weapon at each of the same positions over many seasons.
16.) Recruiting profile – According to 247Sports, Metcalf was ranked as a four-star prospect out of high school. A high school All-American, he was the 110th-best prospect overall and the 16th-best receiver in the country and the sixth best player in the state of Mississippi.
17.) Weight room warrior – Part of the territory with being a size/speed freak is the reputation for being an absolute beast in the weight room. Metcalf fits that description. He can power clean 350 pounds and bench 350 pounds, and he has clocked 4.46 in the 40-yard-dash at 230 pounds in the past. He also has jumped 37.5 inches in the vertical and 11 feet and one inch in the broad jumps. He also landed on Bruce Feldman’s well-known Freaks List this preseason.
In addition to his athletic excellence as an adult, Metcalf has also allegedly accomplished some insane feats as a child.
I was looking for DK Metcalf's athletic testing numbers (for an article I'm writing that will be on DLF soon) when I found this. What on earth pic.twitter.com/55X7edfGT5
— Joseph Nammour (@jnammour24) January 11, 2019
18.) Goals beyond football – A Hospitality Management major, Metcalf aspires to attend culinary school and own and operate his own restaurant.
“Metcalf’s goal is to have a future in the food business. He wants to attend culinary school, then own and operate his own restaurant.
And yes, he already has a catchy name and slogan picked out.
“Cheesy Goodness,” Metcalf said, “where cheese is king and put it on everything.”
Not surprisingly, his specialty as Alfredo. As a hospitality management major, Metcalf gets time to perfect his craft with his various cooking and food science classes.
When he got to Ole Miss in 2016, he told his teachers about his desired career path and they hooked him up with a bunch of Oxford restaurant owners, who were more than willing to share some tricks of the trade with the aspiring chef/entrepreneur. Metcalf wants to have the business side down by the time he’s ready to make his dream a reality.”
19.) High school production – Metcalf caught 224 passes for 3,302 yards and 49 touchdowns over the course of his high school career. He was a monster in his senior season, totaling 94 receptions for 1,455 yards and 22 touchdowns. Metcalf was also a standout basketball player and track star.
20.) Highlight reel – Metcalf doesn’t have a long, productive collegiate career or much film to study at this point, but his highlights are as fun as any player in this class. Here a video of some of his best catches.
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