Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made a name for himself before ever stepping on an NFL football field. A photo of Metcalf and his 1.9 percent body fat went viral due to the sheer size and impressive eight-pack on the young pass catcher.
Potential 1st-round WR D.K. Metcalf’s (far left) been in the weight room
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 11, 2019
While lifting weights was the main reasoning behind that size, Metcalf’s father, former NFL offensive lineman Terrence Metcalf, pushed him to be as big as possible, whether it be pushing to eat an extra piece of pie after dinner or buying his son a weight set when he was merely five years old.
That early weight set a precedent for Metcalf, as, by the time he was 13 years old, he was competing in CrossFit tournaments and could squat 500 pounds by ninth grade.
Metcalf used that strength on the football field as well, eventually earning a scholarship to play at the University of Mississippi, which makes sense since he went to high school in Oxford, Miss.
Perhaps Metcalf’s sheer strength and size caused him to struggle with injuries in his first few years of college. At Ole Miss, a broken foot shrunk his true freshman season to two games. After he played in 12 contests as a redshirt freshman the following season, his final college season was delayed by a neck injury caused him to miss all but seven games in 2018.
Despite these injuries, Metcalf still put up impressive numbers in his time as a Running Rebel. In 21 games, he put up 67 receptions for 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was mainly used as a deep ball threat in the offense, as he averaged nearly 19 yards per reception.
Following those 21 games, Metcalf turned a few heads at the NFL combine by posting a blazing time of 4.33 seconds, which is similar to the times of elite speedsters such as DeSean Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. He blew wide receivers with similar size to him, like Mike Evans and A.J. Green out of the water.
Even though Metcalf was seen as one of the strongest and speediest wide receivers in NFL history, he was still criticized by draft critics due to his history of being injury-prone and his inability to run crisp routes consistently at an NFL level.
But so far in the early moments of Metcalf’s career, he is making those doubters look silly because mostly because of his intense drive to succeed.
The NFL partnered with Metcalf to do a video series about the wide receiver leading up to him being drafted 64th overall by the Seattle Seahawks. One thing that shines through in these videos is his incredibly high work ethic, as he has a clear drive to be one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.
It also helps Metcalf that he was thrust into a system with an MVP-caliber quarterback in Russell Wilson, while also running aside other talented wide receivers such as Tyler Lockett, who draw the opposing secondary’s attention away from the rookie.
Metcalf also benefits from the ‘Donovan Mitchell effect’, as thanks to his uber-talented Dad, he has been in pro locker rooms all his life and has a lot of positive role models in those locker rooms that he can emulate in his pro career.
Metcalf is off to a roaring start to his NFL career as he has 38 receptions and 630 yards through five games. There’s a legitimate case to be made that he is the best rookie receiver from his class. He gives the Seahawks a legitimate deep-ball threat and Wilson certainly loves having one of the league’s biggest and fastest receivers to target in the red zone.
The former Running Rebel elevates the Seahawk’s offense and is part of the reason why they are currently in the driver’s seat in the NFC Wild-Card race, while also having a legitimate case to make and win the Super Bowl.