When it comes to the NFL scouting combine, we care about the 40-yard dash more than we probably should. And, as D.K. Metcalf proved, we can focus too much on body fat percentage too.
Metcalf was the talk of the combine due to his 4.33 40 and alleged 1.9 percent body fat. A photo of Metcalf looking like a bodybuilder made him a viral sensation before he got to Indianapolis, then he became a combine legend.
But the 40 doesn’t come into play too often in the NFL, and having an unbelievably low amount of body fat is just a sideshow. Some believe combine exercises that aren’t often shown on TV, like the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle, are more important in player evaluation.
And Metcalf was surprisingly slower in those drills. Even worse than Tom Brady back in the day.
D.K. Metcalf had issues in some drills
Metcalf had a 3-cone drill of 7.38 seconds and a shuttle time of 4.5 seconds. As has been pointed out often since the weekend, Brady ran the 3-cone drill in 7.2 seconds and the shuttle in 4.38 seconds at the 2000 combine.
So what happened to Metcalf? Brett Kollmann of SB Nation’s Battle Red Blog pointed out that he slipped early and then his technique wasn’t great late.
Was it just technique or is there something concerning about Metcalf’s short-area athleticism? Being built like a tank and running the 40 very fast is great, but neither matters if a receiver doesn’t have the quickness to get open in the NFL.
Metcalf is an interesting draft prospect
Metcalf will be one of the more interesting players in the draft. On the field he showed flashes, though his 2018 season ended in mid-October due to a neck injury. In three college seasons he had 67 catches for 1,228 yards, which isn’t the type of no-doubt production you want from a high first-round pick, which Metcalf probably will be.
Some teams likely will talk themselves out of taking Metcalf that high, while at least one team will fall in love with the incredible physical gifts and the good things he did put on film (he scored in five of seven games last season and had at least 92 yards four times).
There are plenty of intriguing prospects in this year’s draft. Kyler Murray is probably the one who will generate the most debate. But Metcalf will be another who draft analysts might be split on.
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