Why D.K. Metcalf’s Combine Wasn’t Impressive
D.K. Metcalf wowed many at this year’s NFL combine when he ran an astonishing 4.33 second 40-yard dash along with an impressive 40 inch vertical and 27 reps on the bench press. These numbers are crazy considering Metcalf’s 6 foot 3 inches and 228 pounds, many bumped Metcalf from a second day pick all the way up to the first round as a result. However, despite these numbers Metcalf may not be the star many are making him out to be.
For starters, Metcalf’s college numbers do not instill confidence at all. In his freshman year at Ole Miss, Metcalf took a redshirt season but still put up two touchdowns on two receptions in very limited playing time.
In his first full year playing, Metcalf put up a respectable 646 yards and seven touchdowns on 39 receptions. In his last season in college Metcalf’s numbers took a bit of a decline with only 569 yards and five touchdowns on 26 receptions. While these numbers aren’t the worst on the planet, they definitely are not what you would expect out of a top wide receiver prospect, especially compared to the likes of players that Metcalf is being compared too, such as NFL superstar Julio Jones.
Metcalf also struggled tremendously against top tier defensive backs. Although he did have 92 yards and one touchdown against Alabama, it all pretty much came on one play, where he burned Alabama deep on the first play of the game for a 75-yard touchdown.
The lack of production against NFL level defenses is definitely a cause for concern, and while one could argue that his team at Ole Miss may not have allowed him to play at his best, Metcalf himself struggled to get open against opposing defensive backs from top tier football schools such as Alabama and LSU.
While Metcalf possess amazing speed and strength, his real big weakness is change of direction. Metcalf put up an abysmal three cone drill time at only 7.38 seconds, he also only ran a 4.38 shuttle. These are not good numbers for a position that requires a great deal of change of direction. Wide receivers need to be quick on their feet and be able to change direction quickly so they can work themselves open on routes and, well, actually run the routes.
Essentially, Metcalf is a physical freak and insanely athletic, but only if he’s running in a straight line. However, hope is not lost. He still has insane physical attributes and teams and coaches will definitely be able to work with this. Metcalf will just need the right coach and the right team who will be willing to wait for him to develop properly. For those who are claiming he’s the NFL’s next big thing, tone your expectations down a little, he’s a diamond in the rough who needs some polishing.
David Saggio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.