Former OHS and Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has strong NFL start

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Former OHS and Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has strong NFL start

Aidan Patel, Staff Writer

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On April 26, 2019, former Oxford Charger and Ole Miss Rebel Wide Receiver D.K. Metcalf was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Seattle Seahawks selected him with the 64th overall pick. 

Metcalf, who played football for OHS from 2012 through 2016 and 49 games, recorded 224 receptions for 3,302 yards, and 50 touchdowns in his career as a Charger. He was rated as a four-star player out of Oxford, and the fourteenth wide receiver prospect. He committed to play football at Ole Miss, staying in his hometown close to friends and family.

In the fall of 2016, Metcalf’s freshman year at Ole Miss, he appeared in two games before being ruled out for the season with a foot injury. He recorded two receptions for 13 yards, with both receptions resulting in touchdowns. Metcalf would redshirt his freshman year, making him eligible to return for a fifth-year at Ole Miss. This first glimpse of Metcalf gave hope to that there was potential in the WR corpse.

In his redshirt freshman season, Metcalf would complete the year with 39 receptions, 646 yards, and seven touchdowns. He played all 12 games in the season. I think Metcalf rebounded from his first season, which unfortunately ended soon. He still had a lot to improve, but his route running and catching did not seem to be a problem after returning to the field.

When he got to his redshirt sophomore season, Metcalf would accumulate 26 receptions for 569 yards in seven games before having season-ending neck injury vs. Arkansas. I believe this frustrated Metcalf, knowing that he has been injured and shut down for two seasons. He would have to work tremendously hard to be able to show out the following season.

After sustaining the neck-injury in the season prior, Metcalf would declare for the NFL Draft. I think this was a big surprise since he only played one full season of college football and was injured for two seasons. He would be forgoing two more years of college football. He finished his career as a Rebel with 67 receptions, along with 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In the offseason, after the college football season and before the NFL Draft, a photo of Metcalf and A.J. Brown went viral on the internet. It buzzed around the sports world because of how buffed Metcalf looked. It is incredible how Metcalf looked so big and worked so hard, knowing he had a serious neck injury to monitor closely. The work seemed to pay off though, as he ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. This improved his draft stock tremendously and contributed to the hype that was already circulating on social media.

In April, following the combine, Metcalf was drafted in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks. The hype didn’t seem to prove enough, as he dropped from the first round projection to the second round. I think he should’ve been picked higher, but the Seahawks got a steal. Seattle has been struggling to find receivers for Russell Wilson, and they seem to find a legitimate guy in Metcalf. He signed a rookie deal worth 4.6 million over four years. In the offseason, his new QB Russell Wilson bonded with him. They practiced at UCLA and seemed to have a great connection.

Metcalf played in his first NFL game on Sept. 8, 2019. The Seahawks faced the Cincinnati Bengals. I think he lived up to the hype of his big build and speed. He hauled in four receptions for 89 yards as Seattle won 21-20. Metcalf made one long catch that shifted the Seattle momentum in the second half. This set a franchise record for the most receiving yards in their debut, passing Hall of Fame Steve Largent’s previous record of 86 yards. The great thing about this is that he showed up to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, with a Steve Largent throwback jersey. This record breaker seems to put Metcalf in a group with historic names, and I think he will be there one day if he continues playing like he did in this game.

Following their win against the Bengals, they would travel east to face another AFC North opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. There he caught three passes for 61 yards, and his first career NFL touchdown. His touchdown late in the game proved to be the deciding factor in the Seahawk win. A juggling catch up the sideline, along with two feet down, secured his first touchdown as they would win 28-26. The juggling touchdown catch showed a glimpse of what Metcalf can do, and that is his ability to maintain control of the ball and keep two feet in bounds.

Seattle would return home to face the New Orleans Saints, and Metcalf would bring in only two receptions for 67 yards. One reception being a 54 yard catch down the sideline while being double-teamed, proved Metcalf’s speed once again to beat corners on the go-route. The Seahawks would come up short, 33-27. Although Metcalf was targeted numerous times and only brought in 2 receptions, the one catch for 54 yards was caught in a double team. Once again, it shows Metcalf’s strength and poise against other cornerbacks, regardless of only bringing in 2 receptions. He blows by the corner down the sideline, and his big build is no match for other corners.

Metcalf meets all needs to what a quarterback needs in a receiver. His career at Oxford and Ole Miss give a glimpse into the talent that he brings to the Seahawks. In the future, you are to hear more of Russell Wilson and his new dynamic receiver, D.K. Metcalf.