Ravens should look the other way on Metcalf
The NFL scouting combine is over; I know, what a shame. This event allows many unknown draft prospects to showcase their speed, agility, strength, mainly just tangible attributes. There are always players that come in and lower their stock or boost it that affect their draft chances. However, every year there is a scouting combine champion that emerges and has everybody talking, this year’s winner: Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.
Metcalf’s drills went viral after posting a 4.33 40 yard dash, tying the 3rd fastest wide out dash time at the 2019 combine. He bench pressed 27 times and showed up with a staggering 1.9 body fat percentage (which some are still refuting); so naturally, coaches had their minds running rampant on the possibility on what he can turn into. His combine performance will give him the opportunity to jump his teammate A.J. Brown and could be the first receiver taken off the board. However, if NFL scouts are judging strictly off scouting performances, they won’t be at that position for long; these drills can give a false sense hope for teams at need for the position.
The Ravens come to mind for a solid young wide receiver as they have cut Michael Crabtree and only have two producing receivers left on the roster in Willie Snead and Chris Moore. The Ravens will struggle trying to attract quality veteran receivers with a 2nd year QB in Lamar Jackson, who only threw for 1395 yards and 8 TD’s in 8 games. Metcalf has great straight up and down speed, decent separation on vertical routes and adjusts for the ball. However, eyes can be deceiving.
Metcalf scored terribly on the agility tests such as the 3 cone drill and the 20 yard shuffle, he looked stiff at times and footwork was slow. His route tree at Ole Miss was strictly vertical and while he made decent plays with being so predictable, NFL defenses will expose him quickly. He also struggles with completing the catch when going to the ground. He may turn out to be a good receiver in the NFL but the Ravens receiver coaching staff and scouts have been inept at developing young talent that needs to get to the next level. David Culley, Ravens new wideout coach, hasn’t coached receivers since the end of the 2012 season, not a great step up form Bobby Engram.
Metcalf seems like another Breshad Perriman if the Ravens reach for him in the first round. Metcalf has never had more than a 600 yard season and is coming off a substantial neck injury that shortened his 2018 season and a foot injury in 2016. His speed is tempting but the Ravens need a possession guy that already can run a solid combination from the route tree. A.J. Brown, his teammate, checks those boxes and is willing blocker for the run game, crucial for the Ravens in 2019. Metcalf and Ravens would do best to avoid each other, for both their sakes.
About The Author
Born and raised in Baltimore, graduate of Woodlawn High school and graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Avid Orioles and Ravens fan since day 1 and just all around sports junkie. I’ve been writing articles for 2 years now and I also host my podcast “Live from the hammock” on Facebook and Youtube during the NFL season. Follow me for all things Ravens and Orioles and my articles on Instagram (agent_beige) and Twitter (@miwelsthegreat).