Which wide receiver has a better future: DK Metcalf or Terry McLaurin?

Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read

Which WR has a better future: DK Metcalf or Terry McLaurin? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

DK Metcalf and Terry McLaurin -- the two best wide receivers from the 2019 NFL Draft (sorry, AJ Brown) -- will meet for the first time in their respective careers on Sunday when Seattle travels to Washington for a crucial Week 15 NFC clash.

Although both Metcalf and McLaurin are only in their second seasons, they've each already established themselves as two of the best wideouts in the league. Both have already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2020, rank in the top-10 in receiving yards, and have established themselves as the go-to receiver in their respective offenses.

With Seattle and Washington set to square off, it begs the question: Which one of them has the brighter future?

On the latest edition of the Washington Football Talk podcast, NBC Sports Northwest Seahawks Insider Joe Fann said he's taking Metcalf over McLaurin.

"I'd go with DK," Fann said. "That's no disrespect to Terry, but there is something to be said about pure physical dominance. That's what DK can give you."

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At 6-foot-4, 223 lbs., Metcalf has the size to outmuscle and outjump any defender. Metcalf also has elite speed -- displayed by his wowing 4.33 40-yard dash time at the 2019 Scouting Combine -- that allows him to run past almost any cornerback, too.

McLaurin is just as fast as Metcalf, but the Washington pass-catcher is four inches shorter and close to 15 lbs lighter.

"[DK has] got the strength to win in the red zone. He's got the speed and athleticism to beat you deep," Fann said. "There's nothing he can't do."

There's also another area Metcalf has an advantage over McLaurin, and it's something neither has any control over: quarterback play.

Metcalf's draft night slide was well-documented, but landing in Seattle at the end of the second round meant he got to play alongside Russell Wilson, one of the league's best quarterbacks. 

"I think him being paired with Russell Wilson is a fantastic thing for them because they're both like-minded and quite literally wanting to be the best of all-time," Fann said. "DK got insanely lucky, for that slide and how painful it was on draft night, he got so lucky to be in the position he's in."

It's been the opposite in Washington. McLaurin has caught passes from five different quarterbacks already, and he's only played in 27 career games.

McLaurin has still found a way to be productive regardless of who's been at the helm for the Burgundy and Gold, which makes one wonder how good he could be if he was playing alongside a quarterback of Wilson's caliber.

"I think Terry is probably jealous that he's in Washington and dealing with a quarterback carousel over there," Fann said. "It's Check Down City, where Russell Wilson can throw it all over the yard."

Despite two different skill sets and near-opposite quarterback play, both Metcalf and McLaurin have been elite pass-catchers this season. Both have the right attitude, too, and are loved by their teammates.

Everyone can agree that both McLaurin and Metcalf have bright futures as NFL wide receivers. There are zero reasons to think otherwise.

But in Fann's opinion, the Seahawks wideout has not only the higher ceiling between the two of them but perhaps of all the young, standout receivers in the NFL today.

"If you're taking someone now for the future, I'm not sure there's a wide receiver in football I would take over DK Metcalf," Fann said.