The NFL Draft community inevitably falls in love with a handful of prospects every year. The Combine in where these love affairs often take things to the next level. Guys who run fast, jump high, lift well, or, quite often, a combination of those things, grab all the attention. This year, DK Metcalf, in a span of 4.33 seconds, ran into the hearts of every draft analyst.
Metcalf didn’t just run fast. He blistered the track, true, but he also dominated in other areas. He put up 225 pounds 27 times, had a vertical leap over 40 inches, and broad jumped over 11 feet. It was a performance for the ages, and as it happened, his draft stock, per Draft Twitter soared. Some people had him going as high as second overall, and a majority of people jumped him into the top five to eight picks.
Something strange happened though. A little later, his agility numbers came out and changed things. His 3-cone time was 27th among the receivers, and his short shuttle time ranked 30th. Suddenly, the criticisms came, and the people who loved him moments before were thinking things over. But should there have been that kind of swing?
To anyone who watched the tape, it was clear that he had some limitations in his route tree. Also, the pictures being passed around on Twitter showed a guy who was built like a Greek God, and therefore might not be the most nimble of players. So why the sudden swings in sentiment?
Quite simply, we love our heroes. We relish in seeing guys who can do the extraordinary. So when Metcalf exploded in the workouts, we had found our Superman. Then, the agility drills showed us the Clark Kent side of him, and brought us all back to reality.
Metcalf is still the top wide receiver for most draft analysts. Most aren’t quite looking at him in quite the same way. In the span of a few hours, he went from the next Julio Jones, to a prospect with limitations, but upside. In short, what he is, is exactly what we though he was all along.