As we get closer and closer to the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s worth looking at some of the prospects the Buffalo Bills may be picking in less than a month. As we approach the big night, we take a look at the background of former Ole Miss Rebel, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, expected to be taken within the first 15 picks of the first round.
Coming from a family of NFL players, DeKaylin Zecharius Metcalf had NFL-ready athleticism ever since his freshman season. Unfortunately, his college career at Ole Miss was bookended by injuries. His true freshman season, Metcalf broke his foot early in the season, robbing him of some necessary experience. His redshirt freshman season was much more promising, simply by starting all 12 games and catching 39 passes for 646 yards and seven touchdowns. 2018 began extremely well for Metcalf, highlighted by his coming down with huge plays against Alabama and Kent State. But during the first quarter of a game against Arkansas, he exited with a neck injury and was soon declared out for the year. It was a hugely unfortunate injury, as he was on pace for a career year and poised to eclipse 1000 yards receiving.
From most perspectives, Metcalf is a powerhouse athlete. His deep speed is rare for a player of his size, allowing him to play multiple roles and attack several areas of the field. His Pac-Man athletic chart matches him with similar height-weight-speed players like former Kansas City Chiefs receiver Jon Baldwin and journeyman Kenny Britt. Unfortunately, it seems very few of those comparisons yielded great NFL players.
Metcalf’s draft stock has been on the rise ever since the season ended. His rehabilitation following the neck injury proved that it wouldn’t bother him long term, and he dazzled during the combine and his pro day. Additionally, it’s a poor year at the top of the draft for the wide-receiver position as a whole, which could push him up most team’s boards. Likely to be the first wideout drafted, Metcalf should be expected to see himself drafted anywhere from eight overall to the late teens.