D.K. Metcalf‘s fall to the end of the second round was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 NFL Draft. Early in the offseason, he was projected to be one of the first wide receivers off the board in late April, but concerns about his route-running versatility and agility caused his stock to tumble. In a touching YouTube video posted by the Seahawks that showed Metcalf getting the call from the team, the Ole Miss product tearfully asked Pete Carroll why they waited so long to draft him.
A few months later, Metcalf didn’t wait very long to make his mark in the pros, torching the Bengals for 89 yards on four receptions in his first career game. He didn’t stop there and finished his rookie season with 58 catches for 900 yards and seven touchdowns, making defenders — and opposing GMs — look silly in the process.
Among rookie WRs who played six or more games, Metcalf ranked:
- Third in targets per game
- Sixth in receptions per game
- Fourth in receiving yards per game
- Fourth in fantasy points per game
- Third in expected points per game (reEP)
- Seventh in per-game efficiency (reFPOE)
He finished the season with 21.5 reFPOE, a fantastic sign for his career outlook given what Blair Andrews has shown about the importance of rookie-year efficiency at WR.
Going into Year 2, fantasy players are expecting Metcalf to build on what he accomplished in his rookie campaign, as he is being drafted as the WR21 in early best ball drafts — 14 spots ahead of his WR35 finish by PPG in 2019.
Are we getting too excited about a guy who might not even be the WR1 on his own (low-volume) offense, or is Metcalf on the verge of a sophomore breakout?