I'm not sure how I feel about D.K. Metcalf. He'll be one of the first wide receivers drafted after blowing up the combine, but there's definitely some risk there. He had one full college season, and two other wiped out by injury. Will he be a future star?
Metcalf broke his foot two games into his freshman season at Mississippi. He came back the next year and went for 646 yards and 7 TDs, playing second-fiddle to another top prospect in this year's draft, A.J. Brown. He went for 569 yards and 5 TDs in just seven games last year before a neck injury cost him the rest of the season.
Brown, meanwhile, went over 1,200 yards in each of the last two seasons, so he's the somewhat more seasoned prospect. He ran a 4.49 at the combine, which is fine, but pedestrian compared to Metcalf, who ran a 4.33. For a guy who measured 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, that's pretty rare.
In the interests of comparing apples to apples, I'm listing all wide receivers selected in the first round since 2000 who ran the 40 at the combine (leaving out Pro Day times or estimates, so no Marquise Brown or current Titan Corey Davis, for example). Of those 46 guys, only four were faster than Metcalf. Most of the wideouts in his general area were considerably smaller, or slower, or both. It's an unusual size-speed combo.
|WIDE RECEIVER 40 TIMES, 1ST-ROUND PICKS (2000-PRESENT)|
|2013||1||Tavon Austin||West Virginia||5.08||176||4.28|
|2016||1||Will Fuller||Notre Dame||6.00||186||4.32|
|2014||1||Brandin Cooks||Oregon State||5.10||189||4.33|
|2000||1||R. Jay Soward||Southern Cal||5.10||177||4.34|
|2015||1||Kevin White||West Virginia||6.03||215||4.35|
|2007||1||Calvin Johnson||Georgia Tech||6.05||239||4.35|
|2002||1||Javon Walker||Florida State||6.03||210||4.35|
|2014||1||Odell Beckham Jr.||Louisiana State||5.11||198||4.38|
|2005||1||Troy Williamson||South Carolina||6.02||203||4.38|
|2012||1||Michael Floyd||Notre Dame||6.03||225||4.40|
|2015||1||Nelson Agholor||Southern Cal||6.00||198||4.42|
|2014||1||Mike Evans||Texas A&M||6.05||231||4.46|
|2019||?||Hakeem Butler||Iowa State||6.05||227||4.48|
|2007||1||Craig Davis||Louisiana State||6.01||207||4.49|
|2016||1||Josh Doctson||Texas Christian||6.03||195||4.50|
|2004||1||Rashaun Woods||Oklahoma State||6.02||202||4.51|
|2019||?||N'Keal Harry||Arizona State||6.02||228||4.53|
|2007||1||Dwayne Bowe||Louisiana State||6.02||221||4.57|
|2005||1||Mike Williams||Southern Cal||6.05||229||4.57|
|2019||?||Kelvin Harmon||North Carolina State||6.02||221||4.60|
|2000||1||Sylvester Morris||Jackson State||6.03||216||4.60|
|2014||1||Kelvin Benjamin||Florida State||6.05||240||4.61|
|2009||1||Hakeem Nicks||North Carolina||6.01||212||4.63|
|2004||1||Michael Clayton||Louisiana State||6.03||209||4.67|
I threw in a handful of the other top prospects in the upcoming draft, not all of whom will necessarily be first-round picks.
Landing spot will be important with all of these guys, so we don't spend a lot of time ranking them pre-draft. But size and speed are certainly part of the picture, and you have to take notice of a guy like Metcalf. Will be interesting to see how many of these guys are deemed worthy of a first-round pick, and where they end up.