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DK Metcalf’s Draft Stock Soaring

By Dave Holcomb
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There were plenty of winners this year too, but none bigger than Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.

In most years, it’s probably difficult to pick just one winner from an NFL combine. For some, it might be even hard to pick one NFL combine victor at every position.

There were plenty of winners this year too, but none bigger than Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Despite lingering concerns, following his incredible combine performance, a lot of NFL draft experts now consider Metcalf a Top 10 pick for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Based on his combine performance, it’s not hard to see why he’s skyrocketed on draft boards.

Big NFL draft fans were already aware of Metcalf’s ridiculous body makeup prior to the combine. In February, a picture of the Ole Miss wide receiver in the gym next to his teammates surfaced on Twitter, and it went viral.

He looks absolutely huge next to fellow wideout A.J. Brown, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds. Metcalf is 6-foot-4 and based on the way his abs look, it’s no wonder NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah referred to his body as the “human Batman suit.”

Then at the NFL combine, his measurements revealed he possesses just 1.6 percent body fat. Still, that wasn’t what shocked fans the most. That would be Metcalf running the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds, which was tied for the third-fastest time among receivers.

The other three receivers that ran the 40-yard dash as quick or faster than Metcalf were all 205 pounds or lighter. Metcalf weighs 228 pounds, and wideouts with similar weight ran in the 4.48 to 4.53-second range.

In summary, the performance from Metcalf makes him one of the most fascinating physical specimens in NFL combine history. Humans aren’t supposed to be that big and run that fast while doing it without even 2.0 percent body fat.

Obviously, Metcalf’s performance raised his draft stock. In Jeremiah’s latest mock draft released Tuesday, he had the Ole Miss receiver landing with the Buffalo Bills at No. 9 overall. Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports and Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire from USA Today both predicted the same (ninth overall to the Bills). In all three mock drafts, Metcalf was the first wide receiver off the board.

Most places already had Metcalf as one of the top two wideouts in the 2019 class before the combine, but he was going much later in the first round. In his first mock draft in January, Jeremiah slotted Metcalf to the Tennessee Titans at No. 19 overall. A different writer at CBS Sports, Jared Dubin, had Metcalf going at No. 24 to the Oakland Raiders on Feb. 28, which was just days before the NFL combine.

Now that fans and analysts have had a few days since his terrific combine performance to pick their jaws up off the floor, we can now ask whether Metcalf deserves that big of a jump? Since Saturday, he’s gone from a player who was probably going to land with a playoff team late in the first round to a consensus Top 10 pick.

As we see in the league every year, the best athletes don’t always make the best football players. On the field, Metcalf has yet to accomplish all that much. In 2018, he caught only 26 passes for 569 yards and five touchdowns. Metcalf only had 67 receptions in his college career.

Because of that last fact, not all draft analysts love the Ole Miss receiver as a Top 10 pick.

Part of why Metcalf didn’t have a better statistical final college season was a neck injury, which caused him to miss five games. Over the course of an entire 12-game season, he was on pace for 45 receptions and 975 yards in 2018. Even still, at the time of his injury, Brown was definitely Ole Miss’ top receiver.

Metcalf’s best college stat is his 21.9 yards per reception average from last year. He’s a playmaker both as a speedster in a fly pattern and in space with the ball, but in order to warrant a Top 10 selection, Metcalf has to be more than just a big-play threat. Otherwise, he’s just the next Sammy Watkins or worse, Kevin White.

Despite these question marks, though, it’s clear that Metcalf is about as popular a topic around the NFL draft as Kyler Murray. Whether he should or not, Metcalf will go higher in the draft because of his combine numbers.