Expectations are sky-high for DK Metcalf as he enters his second NFL season.
The hype is understandable, of course, following Metcalf's standout rookie season where he posted 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Metcalf then exploded for an NFL rookie record 160 yards and a touchdown in the Wild Card round of the playoffs against the Eagles.
That's why everyone is eager to see what kind of encore Metcalf can put together in Year 2. His pedigree, physical traits and first-year production set the table for a big step forward.
Dave "Softy" Mahler of Sports Radio 950 KJR articulated his hopes for Metcalf more specifically.
"I've spent a lot of time comparing DK Metcalf's rookie year to Julio Jones' rookie year, and the numbers are insanely similar," Mahler said on a recent episode of the Talkin' Seahawks Podcast.
Mahler did acknowledge that Jones missed three games due to injury as a rookie. However, there are still comparisons to be made.
Jones had a line of 54-959-8 back in 2011. Those are obviously higher per game numbers than Metcalf, but Seattle's rookie did have a slightly higher catch percentage (58%-56.8%).
That's not bad given Jones was the sixth-overall pick, and the Seahawks took Metcalf with the final pick of the second round (64th overall).
Jones jumped to 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns in his second season. That seems like reasonable benchmarks for Metcalf.
"That's the kind of rise and the kind of step that I'm hoping DK Metcalf can take this year," Mahler said.
Jones has made seven Pro Bowls and has been named All-Pro twice. He's got five 1,400-yard seasons to his name and one more at 1,394. He remains unquestionably one of the NFL's best wide receivers, if not the best.
Mahler wants to know if Metcalf shares that type of ceiling.
"'Does this guy have superstar potential?' is the question," Mahler said. "Is he going to be an elite wide receiver? Or is he going to be a Pro Bowl wide receiver. There are a lot of Pro Bowl wide receivers. Lots of guys make the Pro Bowl, but not a lot of guys are first-team All-Pro wide receivers. Not a lot of guys are generational talent wide receivers."
Mahler has been a staple in Seattle sports media for nearly three decades. He's a native to the Pacific Northwest and understands just how unique Metcalf is in regard to Seahawks history.
"The Seahawks have never had a guy who looks like this and runs like this," he said.
Metcalf and the rest of the Seahawks are in the midst of the NFL's ramp up period before official practices begin. Once practices finally begin, all eyes will be on the second-year wideout, eager to see what he has in store for Seattle's opponents in 2020.
DK Metcalf could be poised for Julio Jones-esque jump in Year 2 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest