Watching Ole Miss WR DK Metcalf's film over the summer in preparation for the 2018 season revealed a rare physical skill set. Despite being just a redshirt sophomore, falling in love with Metcalf's ability was easy to do, especially considering preseason scouting is all about projecting growth.
It's easy to gripe on the limited route tree Metcalf ran at Ole Miss as a concern, but the challenge for scouts is to extrapolate the traits and forecast what a player can do. It's not Metcalf's fault he wasn't tasked with more variance in his routes. What is apparent from watching Metcalf is that his technical refinement and nuance in his releases, burst in and out of breaks, physicality, length and pure athletic ability serve as a strong foundation to develop from.
Metcalf has strong NFL bloodlines. His father Terrence Metcalf, his uncle Eric Metcalf and Grandfather Terry Metcalf, each played in the NFL. The three combined to play 27 seasons in the NFL.
When you can bench press 100-pounds as a 5-year-old, here's what your frame can look like when you are 18, at least if your name is DK Metcalf (pictured far right).
And at 19, Metcalf could power clean 350 pounds!
Featured as a big-play target for the Rebels, Metcalf racked up 1,228 receiving yards for an average of 18.3 yards per reception with 14 touchdowns across 21 games in college. Teammate AJ Brown was the volume receiver for the Rebels, while DaMarkus Lodge also made his share of dynamic plays. That three combined to form one of the top wide receiving corps in college football.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Metcalf does rare things on the football field.
Look at the release, acceleration, tracking skills and length to secure the football on this rep.
Make sure you watch this one all the way through to get a full appreciation for his ability to haul in this contested catch. This man is a freak.
The excitement concerning Metcalf's NFL upside took a pause when Ole Miss announced that his senior season was over in mid-October with a neck injury that would require surgery. Head coach Matt Luke said at the time that long-term, Metcalf "would be fine." Just over a month later, Metcalf went on to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, which was a good sign for his recovery and long-term prognosis. Still, gauging the comfort level NFL teams will have regarding the neck injury is challenging given the limited information released on the injury and surgery.
Last week, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Metcalf was cleared for all football activities with zero limitations per Dr. Kevin Foley who performed his surgery. Schefter also revealed that Metcalf is currently training for the NFL Scouting Combine and will compete in all activities in Indianapolis.
I expect Metcalf to dominate the Combine. He is a freak athlete with rare physical ability that is easy to identify when watching his game film. Teams will do their due diligence on the medical side of Metcalf's evaluation, but if everything checks out, Metcalf has the upside to become one of the premiere wide receivers in the NFL.