by Angel Maldonado Tejada
Making the Leap is a series where we take a look at young and promising players that have a chance to make the leap to stardom in the upcoming season. Today, we take a look at one of the 2019 Draft’s most talked about prospects: Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver D.K Metcalf.
We are all aware of Metcalf’s Hulk-esque physique as he made waves when a post-workout photo of him went viral. Standing at 6’4” and weighing in at 229 LBs, Metcalf is a certified freak of nature. His workout metrics are off the chart: 99th percentile 40 yard dash, 99th percentile speed score, and 97% burst (via PlayerProfiler). Despite his outstanding speed and his ridiculous strength (27 reps on the bench press during his 2019 combine), Metcalf fell to the end of the 2nd round where the Seattle Seahawks happily scooped him up. Part of the reason for Metcalf’s draft day slide was his awful three-cone shuttle time; at 7.38 seconds, scouts viewed this as a sign that Metcalf would be unable to run the intricate routes necessary to be a successful NFL receiver. . In addition, there have been concerns about Metcalf’s ball control issues, but this can be fixed with good coaching (something which Seattle certainly has.) Metcalf possesses all the physical tools to be a future WR1 in the league, making him a tantalizing player whose outlook becomes even brighter when considering Russell Wilson is his quarterback.
Metcalf had a phenomenal rookie season, one that was highlighted by his 160-yard Wild Card eruption against the Eagles. He showed the ability to create separation as the X-receiver both inside and outside without the use of his hands, once a major concern going into the season due to his low agility score. Using the stop-and-go and the double move, Metcalf showed that he possesses the necessary physical ability to succeed. However, he did nothing to alleviate concerns surrounding his ball security, fumbling 3 times (losing all of them) and dropping 7 passes on 100 targets. While these issues are concerning, it is important to consider that D.J Moore fixed his fumbling issues in year 2 and several big name receivers (Stefon Diggs and Julian Edelman come to mind) had more fumbles than Metcalf last season. Of the utmost importance is the rapport he developed with Russell Wilson, one that should only continue to grow with time. Overall, there’s not much more you can ask from a rookie than what Metcalf delivered. He became an essential weapon for Russell Wilson and built a great foundation for the future. His stock is on the rise heading into 2020, but will he make the leap to stardom?
D.K Metcalf exceeded expectations in 2019 and should continue to do so in 2020. With another year to hone his route running skills, Metcalf will continue to grow into his role as the Seahawks WR2 while pushing Tyler Lockett for the WR1 role. He has displayed an immediate desire to polish his game and could become even scarier (imagine that). Russell Wilson threw 71 passes of 20+ yards last year (told you he was a gunslinger), a number that should rise as Metcalf takes another step forward and Lockett continues drawing the attention of opposing defenses. As the X-Receiver in a play action heavy offense, Metcalf’s 7 touchdowns should be seen as his floor due to his monstrous frame and breakaway ability. Despite Wilson’s pleas for the organization to add another piece to the offense, the Seahawks opted to stand pat this offseason, choosing to bring in cheaper pieces like Patriots castoff Philip Dorsett (he’s fast, but not much else) and veteran tight end Greg Olsen (who’s already got one foot in the Monday Night Football booth.) With a relatively easy schedule (thank you, NFC East) and continued development, Metcalf should surpass the 1,000 yard threshold while receiving numerous red zone targets, making a WR2 very feasible.