Over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of promising young receivers into the NFL, and the 49ers certainly have capitalized on it. In Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco has a pair of dynamic wideouts that most other teams would be envious of.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, the rival Seattle Seahawks probably aren't included in that group. They already had Tyler Lockett, and now second-year receiver DK Metcalf is looking like the NFL's next dominant receiver.
Going up against Metcalf, who already has 58 receptions for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns this season, for the next decade or so is sure to be a major pain for San Francisco. It doesn't help that the 49ers had multiple chances to draft him and didn't, despite the fact that coach Kyle Shanahan apparently was a fan of his.
And, as NBC Sports' Chriss Simms recently suggested, the Seahawks swooped in and picked Metcalf right before the 49ers likely would have (h/t 49ers Webzone).
"I feel pretty confident in saying that if DK Metcalf was there for that pick, that Kyle would have taken him," Simms told NBC Sports' Mike Florio on "Pro Football Talk Live". "I know -- Kyle may not like me saying this or whatever -- he really liked DK Metcalf. He liked Deebo Samuel a little bit more, obviously. I think he felt like he fit his offense a little bit with his speed-sweep stuff, but he was very pro-DK Metcalf. I'd have a hard time thinking he would have passed him up if he was on the board again."
The Seahawks selected Metcalf with the final pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Three picks later, the 49ers selected receiver Jalen Hurd, who has yet to appear in a regular-season game. San Francisco still holds out hope that Hurd can be a significant contributor at some point, but even then, he's highly unlikely to reach Metcalf's level.
Of course, if Metcalf had fallen to the 49ers' pick and they selected him, they almost certainly would not have picked Aiyuk in the first round the following year. Aiyuk has had a tremendous rookie season thus far, and the 49ers are very excited about the promise he has shown.
San Francisco is set up quite well at the receiver position for the foreseeable future. But it begs the question as to what could have been had the Seahawks not picked Metcalf when they did.