Passing is at an all-time high around the league, which means receivers are getting more attention than ever. This is making it harder for receivers to stick out in a league where passing stats are rampant and fantasy points are taking priority.
Then there's DK Metcalf.
An average fan probably thinks of DeAndre Hopkins or Tyreek Hill when wondering who the best receiver in the NFL is heading into 2021. However, no one should go too far down their list before arriving at Metcalf's name.
If you lined up all the receivers in the NFL shoulder-to-shoulder and walked down the line, needing to pick one to play the part of a superhero for the (seemingly) 26th upcoming Marvel movie, it would be pretty clear who would get the part. Metcalf is built like someone out of a comic book, yet has the football acumen of a top receiver in the league.
Any way you slice it, the Ole Miss product has been a top 10 receiver over the first two years of his pro career. Metcalf set a franchise record with 1,303 receiving yards in 2020, which was seventh in the NFL. He collected 10 touchdowns—good enough for eighth in the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, Metcalf ranks seventh in contested catches and broken tackles after the catch since 2019. However, PFF also graded him as the 18th best receiver last season.
On the flip side, FantasyFootballCalculator.com ranks Metcalf as the fourth-best wideout for fantasy owners this upcoming season.
In his first two years in the NFL, the 6-foot-4 wideout collected 2,203 yards, which is 10th-best. His 17 touchdowns in that same timeframe rank him seventh.
Seattle's Marvel-esque playmaker is also on a historic pace. His 2,203 yards is the 16th-most in NFL history for a player's first two years, more than the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson.
At this point, it's impossible to have a valid list of top receivers and omit Metcalf's name. He has put in the work and put up the numbers necessary to be in the conversation.
While he is not yet the consensus best pass-catcher in the NFL, he is just 23 years old, with plenty of time to rise up the rankings. It has been a long time since the Seahawks have enjoyed a top-tier specimen at receiver and they have exactly that in Metcalf.
It's time that the league, its pundits and rankings give him the respect he deserves.