Route Running –Shows very good footwork at the line of scrimmage to defeat press coverage and create false steps. Does well to bend back across the face of leveraged defenders on vertical stems. Explosive through breaks and create separation.
Hands –Does not always address the ball with proper hand alignment and needs better consistency extending to reach for the ball and optimize catch radius, especially when facing his passer. Strength through the hands is present to sustain grip through contact.
Contested Catch Ability –Size and strength are difficult to account for, especially in high point situations where he can elevate and greet the apex of the football (Kentucky 2017). Has body control to adjust late and win positioning for the football.
Run After Catch Ability –Is a monster in the open field, provides defenders with issues on account of speed, strength, balance and quickness. Opens his strides and tears up open turf. Shows good strength and effective free arm to force a missed wrap up
Football IQ –Still has room to grow as a rSoph, especially as it relates to body positioning along the sideline and addressing the football in high traffic situations. Can drift too far into the boundary and cut down on a throwing window. Runs diverse routes. Knows how to beat press.
Vertical Receiving –Has tremendous second gear and pulls away from defenders attempting to play turn and run coverage with consistency. Ability to carry speed while tracking the ball over his shoulder is quite strong and allows for optimum RAC.
Change of Direction Skills –Lateral quickness and explosiveness out of breaks are hallmarks of his game. Will snap hard off of stem and carries speed, creating a headache for defenders to stay attached with playing overhead. Loose hips provide ample swing back to his passer despite high speed.
Speed –Play speed is tremendous, especially when accounting for size. Has speed to burn in vertical situations and has blown past good cornerbacks at the line. Ability to sell vertical stems and explosiveness vs. off coverage provides extra space on breaks.
Competitive Toughness –Physical strength is apparent at the catch point and in the open field. Presses hard off of the LOS and doesn't take reps off to tip defenders of a run. Will work hard to mirror and stay in front of a defender. Doesn't let target volume dissuade effort.
Blocking Ability –Length and movement skills pair wonderfully with his strength and should have no problem physically walling off defenders at the next level. Illustrates a strong sense of his wingspan and how to utilize it to re-route defensive backs.
BEST TRAIT – Explosiveness
WORST TRAIT – Hands
BEST FILM – Texas Tech (2018)
WORST FILM – Alabama (2017)
RED FLAGS – 2018 Neck INJ
D.K. Metcalf enters the 2019 NFL Draft as a rare prospect, his blend of physicality and explosiveness have the ability to develop into a game-changing WR. Metcalf projects favorably to just about any system, he's fluid enough to run hard angled routes and big enough to win in the red zone. Metcalf offers vertical explosiveness as well. An early starter just scratching the surface of how good he can really be.
ROUND GRADE - First Round