#15 DK Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
Former Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made headlines at the NFL Combine with his 40-yard dash (4.33 seconds) and bench press (27 reps). He is a physical freak that plays football; and the order of that statement is intentional. While Metcalf is certainly capable of making highlight plays, his film leaves something to be desired. Flashes of his athleticism show up on film, but if he is going to be a number one receiver in the NFL, he needs to show more consistency.
Metcalf is very good at getting off press coverage and utilizing his athleticism to finish plays. Just watch the first play of the game against Alabama, where he beats the corner in press coverage and catches a streak for a 75-yard touchdown. As exemplified by his 40-yard dash time, Metcalf can be a great deep threat in the NFL. He is effective when the play breaks down because he has great scramble drill instincts and always works back to the ball. On the other hand, he needs to work on his route running as he takes too long get in and out of his breaks. Metcalf’s best routes are streaks and curls; two types of routes where he doesn’t have to accelerate out of his break. Drops are also an issue with Metcalf. Too often, he will lose concentration and drop catchable passes. If Metcalf can combine his physical tools with improved route running, he has the potential to become a top five wide receiver. The issue is that as high as Metcalf’s ceiling is, his floor is just as low.
Fit for the Raiders
While drafting a wide receiver is in play for the Raiders, I would be very cautious of drafting Metcalf. He gives me flashbacks of former first round pick Darius Heyward-Bey and I’m worried about him being just another workout warrior. There is plenty of depth at wide receiver in this draft and Oakland would be better off looking for someone else. If he is still on the board at pick 27, he might be worth the risk, but I think there will be safer and better options when the time comes.
The Dolphins need a lot of help and wide receiver is no exception. Miami did re-sign wide receiver DeVante Parker to a two-year deal, but they can walk away with no dead cap after this season. They could draft Metcalf and if he shows promise, walk away from Parker and give their next quarterback a meaningful weapon. Since the Redskins drafted him in first round, wide receiver Josh Doctson hasn’t lived up to expectations. Metcalf would be another project, similar to Doctson, but Metcalf’s potential is higher and that could be enough for Washington to draft him. While the Panthers drafted wide receiver DJ Moore in the first round last season, they lost Devin Funchess in free agency and Moore is more of slot receiver. Metcalf could replace Funchess as the Panthers’ top outside receiver.