With the final selection in the second round, the Seattle Seahawks made a splash. Trading away the 77th and 118th pick to the Patriots, the Seahawks moved up to pick 64 and took combine star D.K. Metcalf. The Ole Miss wideout was one of many receivers clustered at the top of the position, but was the last taken in a run at the position during the second round. Seattle moved up and ended his fall.
For a moment at the Scouting Combine, it looked as though Metcalf was going to solidify himself as a day one prospect, running a 4.33 forty, with a 40 1/2” vertical and 11’02” broad jump. His stock took a hit with a 2nd percentile three cone and 3rd percentile short shuttle, but that would matter not to the Seahawks.
Seahawks have always prioritized speed and explosiveness over agility at wide receiver (particularly on the permiter). They won't have been put off by Metcalf's short shuttle and three cone. They'll have fallen in love with the rest of his athletic profile— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) April 27, 2019
Metcalf is a physical freak with elite explosiveness, and he is absolutely in the mold of a Seattle wide receiver.
Where Metcalf Wins
Simply put, vertically. Metcalf can beat press with ease, stacks his route excellently, and will flat out run past defensive backs. Though deep balls are where Metcalf made his name in college:
Can you imagine Russell Wilson throwing to D.K. Metcalf? Picture his high arc deep ball with Metcalf and Lockett running go routes.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 27, 2019
It's going to open up so much room in the #Seahawks offense. They love to vertically stretch the defense. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/p3TazKcAQv
He has the size and physicality to become an excellent above the rim threat, too:
When we first knew DK Metcalf was gonna be pretty good pic.twitter.com/pi1gBC2zMx— OMRebelNation (@OMRebelNation) April 25, 2019
With his existing skill set, Metcalf is entering the perfect system.
Where Metcalf Loses
Metcalf loses on around 2⁄3 of the route tree. At Ole Miss, Metcalf ran just a handful of routes, all of which maximized his unbelievable physical traits. He simply won’t win with separation on in or out breaking routes, nor will he gain separation at the top. Metcalf’s hope is to either beat the cornerback with speed, or box them out.
Year One Role
Metcalf’s year one role will hinge on Doug Baldwin’s status. Should Baldwin retire, Metcalf is a likely starter. Should Baldwin return for 2019, Metcalf is going to be battling with David Moore for snaps on the perimeter (and surely winning that battle). A true home run threat any time he is targeted, Metcalf will see a fair share of targets regardless of his role or playing time as a rookie.
Best Case Scenario
If Metcalf can develop into even as average route runner, but one capable of running a full compliment, then the Seahawks may have acquired a long-term, dominant X receiver. He is already an elite vertical threat coming into an offense led by one of the league’s best deep passers. In the best case scenario, Metcalf reaches his All-Pro ceiling and gives Russell Wilson his own Randy Moss at a crucial point in his career.
Worst Case Scenario
There is a possibility Seattle selected Kevin White 2.0, a receiver who lined up exclusively on the left side of the field and never developed as a player. If so, physical tools—even ones as impressive as Metcalf’s—will only take a player so far. Metcalf would see out his rookie contract with a whimper and be remembered for a handful of game-changing big plays, in that case.
Though he wasn’t my favorite receiver remaining, it’s hard not to be thrilled with this selection. If L.J. Collier and Marquise Blair didn’t move the needle, Metcalf with the final pick of round two should. Regardless of how Metcalf develops, the first Wilson to Metcalf deep connection will be glorious. As will the subsequent ones.