'Something Special' Brewing for Seahawks WR DK Metcalf in Second Season
After being selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, receiver DK Metcalf faced high expectations as a rookie and needed to immediately develop into a reliable target in his first season in the league.
With two-time Pro Bowler Doug Baldwin retiring in May due to injuries, Seattle's offense hoped Metcalf would emerge as a quality option behind teammate Tyler Lockett right away. Luckily for Seattle, the 6-foot-4 receiver did exactly that, as he quickly formed a lethal connection with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Considering the Ole Miss standout’s career nearly ended following his neck surgery in 2018, no one was happier to witness his success on the field than his head coach. Looking back at his rookie season, Pete Carroll expressed his excitement about the towering receiver's future and discussed how important it was for him to prove that he belongs in this league.
“What a great kid, I’m so fired up for him,” Carroll explained. “He had so much to prove in his first year because he’s a great competitor and he had a chip on his shoulder. It was huge and he wanted to prove that he belonged and that he could be a star and he did everything he could in his first year.”
Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought this spring, Metcalf still found a way to have an "phenomenal offseason” and was able to further work on his craft during his downtime. Additionally, Carroll also revealed the 22-year old even spent a month working with Wilson this summer as well.
While the former second-round pick is a rare athlete for the position, Carroll believes Metcalf's mental toughness is one of his best attributes and it will help him grow on and off the field throughout his career. With just one year under his belt, the Seahawks are very pleased to see the young receiver isn’t letting any obstacles keep him from achieving his goals.
“What gives him a chance to be a really exciting player is his mentality. He knows exactly who he is, he knows where he’s come from, he knows what it’s all about,” Carroll mentioned. “He’s not going to let anybody get in the way of him being all he can be and that’s all we could ever ask for.”
Heading into his sophomore campaign, Metcalf still has some holes in his game needing to be improved upon. After fumbling three times and dropping seven passes in 2019, doing a better job of securing the football during and after the catch will be a top priority for him moving forward.
Along with improving his ball handling, Metcalf could also benefit from producing more consistently, as he caught two passes or fewer in five of his 16 regular season games. With that said, he was able to end his season on a high note by catching 11 of his 14 targets for 219 yards and a touchdown through two postseason contests, including setting an NFL rookie record with 160 yards in a Wild Card win over the Eagles.
Based on the success Metcalf enjoyed as a rookie, Carroll expects to utilize his emerging star even more this season and could position him all over the field. After finishing tied for the fifth-lowest average yards of cushion (4.9), according to Next-Gen-Stats.com, moving him to the slot occasionally could help generate more separation and lead to additional success in 2020.
“He’s really a bright football player, and he’s got flexibility, and he blocks, and he can rip down the field. We hope to just use him more than ever and fit him together in this team,” Carroll discussed. “He’s here to do something special now… he’s a beautiful part of this team and I can’t wait to see him go.”