Rookie Rundown: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Rookie Rundown: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

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(Matt Bush, USA TODAY Sports)

Despite missing considerable time and catching only 67 passes in college, Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf blazed his way through the workout drills a the scouting combine to help solidify an expected first-round placement.

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 228 pounds
40 time: 4.33 seconds

Freakish. That’s the word. Men of his size shouldn’t run that fast. Not only did he destroy the 40-yard dash, Metcalf hoisted a whopping 27 reps on the 225-pound bench and jumped out of the building with a 40 1/2-inch vert.

Metcalf left school following his redshirt sophomore season, a year that came to a premature end after a neck injury cost him all but seven games. He was an SEC All-Freshman pick in 2017 and started every contest. A broken foot ended Metcalf’s true freshman season in only his second game.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss — stats (2016-18)

Year
Rec
Yards
Avg.
TD
Long
Att
Yards
Avg.
TD
2016
2
13
6.5
2
10
0
0
0
0
2017
39
646
16.6
7
71
0
0
0
0
2018
26
569
21.9
5
75
0
0
0
0

Big plays, explosive ability … that really sums up where is currently. Metcalf is pure upside and has the tools to become a dominant WR1, but he wasn’t even the top dog at Ole Miss, so there will be detractors.

Pros

  • Elite size-to-speed ratio
  • Eye-popping athleticism that jumps off the screen — fluidity, quick-footed and dynamic body control
  • Constantly offers a mismatch on all three levels of the passing tree
  • Will demand double coverage once he fully harnesses his potential
  • NFL bloodlines — father (Terrence, guard), grandfather (Terry, RB), uncle (Eric, WR, special teams)
  • Forces defenses to pay attention on every play — even quite valuable as a decoy
  • Skills need refinement, but has all of the traits to be a dominant blocker
  • Dangerous in jump-ball scenarios — huge wingspan and leaping ability
  • Catches the hall away from himself and all over his radius, including special grabs (one-handed, off-balance, etc.)

Cons

  • Despite showing growth in his route development, the full tree still isn’t in his wheelhouse
  • Obvious questions about production that doesn’t quite match his skills
  • Two serious injuries in three years
  • Some concentration lapses leading to drops
  • Needs far more nuance in his route-running repertoire
  • Will require considerable coaching to reach his full potential

Fantasy football outlook

Metcalf’s upside for stardom is apparent to even casual observers, but he doesn’t come without considerable risk as a likely first-round choice in the NFL draft. Baltimore, Buffalo, Miami, New England, Indianapolis, Washington, San Francisco and Jacksonville all appear in play, which could require trading up to get a chance on him, depending on the team.

He has a blend of Julio Jones’ size/speed and the strength of Josh Gordon. That said, Metcalf has a distance to travel before being fairly compared to either player from an NFL-productivity standpoint.

Metcalf is best viewed as a flex target and could be overvalued casual circles. Fantasy owners should be less enthusiastic about him in 2019 than future seasons, since he’s still raw and probably won’t be entering an ideal situation in Year 1.

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