Name: DK Metcalf
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Seattle Seahawks
College Team: University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
Draft Status: Round two, 64th overall
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 228 pounds
- Arms: 34 7/8”
- Hands: 9 7/8”
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.33
- Bench press: 27
- Vertical Jump: 40.5”
- Broad Jump: 134.0”
- 3-Cone Drill: 7.38 Seconds
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.5 Seconds
- 60-Yard Shuttle: (did not run)
- Size, speed, freak athlete
- Metcalf’s 10-yard split for his 4.33-second 40-yard dash clocked at 1.45-seconds, Cynthia Frelund said this is the fastest 10-yard split in her database since 2003.
- Defensive backs have to recognize his speed giving him cushion but then fall victim when Metcalf catches comebacks or quick-hitting throws. Defensive coordinators will be wise to keep safety help over the top.
- Multiple circus catches. Utilizes his size to bully defensive backs in the end zone. Does well walling off the defender and giving his quarterback a window to throw the ball to.
- Does well at adjusting to poorly thrown balls.
- Dangerous after the catch and tough to tackle.
- Very quick feet.
Over the past two seasons, 71% of D.K. Metcalf's yards have come on just two routes (the go route or hitch).
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) March 9, 2019
- Route running. Metcalf is known for the go route and the hitch.
- Needs to improve technique and nuance with route running. This could be an experience and system issues at Ole Miss.
- Stiff in his routes.
- Lack of production and size due to time missed because of injury.
- Issues with his Football IQ and maximizing his size along the sideline. Physical attributes to be a dominant end zone option but, will need to learn how to utilize physical abilities.
- Doesn’t have a ton of experience.
Statistics from sports-reference.com.
Metcalf spent three years at Ole Miss dealing with unlucky injuries. Before you call him “injury prone”, remember this was a broken foot and a neck injury, which required surgery. All that said, it didn’t worry Seattle enough to keep them from drafting him in round two. After a broken foot derailed his 2016 freshman season, he posted a solid 2017 redshirt Freshman season. He put up a decent 39-reception, 646-yard, and seven receiving touchdown season. He was on pace to better those numbers in 2018, before he was sidelined for the final five games with a neck injury.
The Seahawks traded back into the end of round two to select Metcalf. Seattle sent their third round (pick 77 overall) and a fourth round (pick 118 overall) to get him. Anticipating Doug Baldwin‘s release via injury, Seattle drafted Metcalf, Gary Jennings Jr, and traded back in to round seven to select John Ursua.
The Baldwin move vacates 711 of his offensive snaps, 73 targets from the teams passing offense and five receiving touchdowns. The Hawks only attempted 427 passing attempts in 2018 which was the fewest in the league. Russell Wilson made those attempts count, though, as Seattle was tied for fifth in passing touchdowns.
With Baldwin gone, that leaves Seattle with Tyler Lockett as the only wide receiver with more than three years experience on the roster to challenge Metcalf. David Moore’s role in the offense expanded in his second year as he went from no receptions and one game played in 2017, to a 16-game, 26-reception season in 2018. Seattle has never shied away from playing younger players, but stay tuned in to preseason to see if Metcalf is running with the first team offense.
It will be tough for Metcalf to carve out a dominant role in the Seattle offense right away. With so few targets, and such little passing volume in the Seattle offense, it limits Metcalf’s ceiling compared to if he had landed on an offense with more passing volume. However, Wilson’s efficiency could be a strong balancing factor for him if he can become a red zone option for the team.
I would not expect a season from him like what we saw in 2014 with Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, or Kelvin Benjamin. Something closer to what we saw from Calvin Ridley might be more realistic, as there could be some large variance week to week for him.
The Seattle offense does not appear to be changing anytime soon, and they were the only team in the NFL to have more rush attempts in 2018 than pass attempts. The passing volume might never be there for Metcalf to be a top tier fantasy football option. It will take touchdowns and efficiency for him to produce.
As I said earlier, the team will continue to run the ball and with two speedy wide receivers, in Lockett and Metcalf, that will force defenses to play more two-deep safety looks setting up the run. Wilson, who is phenomenal with play action, can then audible when defenses crowd the box to stop the run. Head coach Pete Carroll has long looked for explosive plays, pass plays over 16 yards, and with Metcalf, he should be able to take advantage of his size and speed.
In 2018, Tyler Lockett was the WR16 in PPR leagues with nearly 21 fewer targets than all other top 24 wide receivers. Every season since 2015, Wilson and Seattle have produced at least a WR2 in fantasy football points for PPR leagues. Wilson doesn’t have the volume of the top quarterbacks but his efficiency should help rookie Metcalf produce.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
A simple comparison for Metcalf is Demaryius Thomas. A big, strong wide receiver with physical traits for big yards after catch potential. His Speed Score, which takes a player’s height and weight then factors in their 40-yard dash score, has Metcalf compared to Calvin Johnson. This is obviously a physical metric for comparison and not what you see on film or in his statistical analysis. I am still worried about his agility scores; especially when you consider that defensive tackle Ed Oliver, whom the Bill’s drafted, beat Metcalf in the short shuttle by .28s and by .23s in the three-cone drills.
PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE
According to May Rookie ADP, he is currently going as the sixth player in most rookie drafts where he was the third player drafted in most April drafts. I imagine his draft stock will continue to slide towards the third of rookie drafts come summer. For dynasty startup ADP, Metcalf is being taken around round five.
DK Metcalf is a highlight tape waiting to happen. So, pay attention to how Seattle deploys him during the preseason and if he is running with the first team offense. Twitter will push up his draft cost as #TapeSZN hits with training camp highlights and preseason clips pushing up player values and hype.
Pete is a Western Washington University (Go Vikings! Undefeated at Football since 2009!) History grad with a doctorate in dynasty football, from a certificate he bought online. He prefers stats and analytics but realizes film grinding is an important part of the process. Dabbles in "Mild Takes" and believes in the process.
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