We often talk about boom or bust prospects in any draft. High risk, high reward. Maybe one team turns the prospect into a star. Maybe one team turns him into a bust. Sometimes character plays into the boom or bust. Whatever the case, boom or bust prospects happen in every draft. However, no draft prospect has ever epitomized that phrase more than Ole Miss receiver, DK Metcalf. Is DK Metcalf the most polarizing draft prospect ever?
Let’s start from the beginning. Based off of college production, Metcalf probably belongs in the 4th round. His best statistical season came in 2017 when he reeled in 39 balls for 646 yards and 7 touchdowns. That was over the course of 12 games. Nothing special. In 2018, the Ole Miss receiver’s season was cut short because of a neck injury. In 7 games, he caught 26 balls but did average 21.9 yards per catch.
This was my favorite play Metcalf had all year. First play of the game, Metcalf catches a bomb to put Ole Miss up 7-0 on Alabama. Ole Miss would get outscored 62-0 the rest of the way. One of the most hilarious moments of the season.
What you saw on that first play is what Metcalf can do. Big, physical receiver that can win deep balls. We saw that at the combine with what turned out to be one of the freakiest performances I’ve ever seen. It’s rare to find a receiver that has the total height, weight, speed, package. 6-foot-4, 228, and 4.33 speed. Oh, yeah and he’s ripped out of his mind too.
If we’re going to praise Metcalf for the blazing speed, we also have to knock him for his 3 cone drill that focuses on short area quickness. Metcalf’s time (7.38) was the 3rd worst by a receiver at the combine. By comparison, Tom Brady’s 3 cone time was 7.20, faster than Metcalf. Tom Brady’s combine workout went down as one of those things that made your eye balls bleed.
So what is Metcalf? A fast receiver that is physical but struggles with change of direction? Borderline above average route runner but maybe limited route tree? Measurables and physical tools off the charts but limited college production? What the hell are we getting?
If Metcalf hits (that’s a big if) he sort of looks like Terrell Owens, doesn’t he? Height, weight, speed, demon who averaged 14.8 yards per catch in the NFL. Made big plays down the field but wasn’t the most flexible receiver in the league. Jacked out of his mind. 3rd round pick based on small school status. Didn’t always catch everything thrown his way but made the difficult ones look easy. Owens ran a 4.65 at the combine but played much faster.
I feel like that’s a fair comparison. That’s if Metcalf works out. Josh Gordon maybe? Building a receiver group is kind of like building a basketball team. You need a point guard, forward, and center. If Metcalf is the guy who works down the field, then pair him with a possession receiver and a slot yardage eater. All of a sudden, Metcalf becomes very valuable.
Does anyone know what you’re getting with DK Metcalf? He isn’t nearly as safe or good as Julio Jones or AJ Green coming out in the draft. Why didn’t he produce in college? How does Ole Miss have so many talented players but couldn’t win in college? Has a Les Miles LSU feel to it. Odell Beckham dealt with that exact issue in college. I can’t remember a draft prospect being more boom or bust in recent memory than DK Metcalf.