As we enter the season of giving thanks, Eagles fans remain bitter about an egregious misfire in the 2019 NFL Draft. Desperate for wide receiver help, GM Howie Roseman picked Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round.
Six picks later, the Seahawks selected DK Metcalf.
Arcega-Whiteside has been an astonishing bust so far with just 12 receptions for 214 yards and one touchdown in 12 career games. Metcalf has 106 catches for 1,762 yards and 16 scores through 26 contests and may be an All-Pro pick in 2020. Those numbers don’t even include his 160-yard, one-touchdown outburst in last year’s Wild Card Round against… the Eagles.
It’s truly poetic, only in an Edgar Allan Poe sort of way from Philadelphia’s perspective.
“Metcalf is devastating,” Draft expert and noted Eagles fan Ben Solak said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “It hurts so bad, because when you look at what you expect Roseman to prioritize in terms of athleticism and in terms of production, yeah Metcalf wasn’t a heavy starter. He didn’t have a ton of games, but his production on a per-game basis was outside of this world and the testing was bananas.”
The angst felt by Eagles fans toward the team’s front office has intensified with the success of Vikings rookie wideout Justin Jefferson, who has vastly outperformed Jalen Reagor. Philadelphia selected Reagor 21st overall. Jefferson went one pick later at No. 22.
“There’s absolutely issues in player evaluation, especially at the receiver position,” Solak said.
Monday night will already be Metcalf’s third game at Lincoln Financial Field, which Solak called a “kick in the stomach” for Eagles fans.
Seattle’s second-year phenom could be in for another big night depending on how the Eagles choose to matchup with him. Three-time Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay normally sticks to his side of the field rather than shadow a team’s top wideout.
Should that tendency remain, Metcalf will get the chance to match up against Avonte Maddox at times. The 5-foot-10 corner with 31.5-inch arms could struggle with the 6-foot-4 Metcalf.
“Metcalf is going to make him look like a junior varsity player if they’re in a contested catch situation,” Solak said. “And I’m gonna cry while it happens.”
Metcalf, still just 22 years old, is likely to torment the Eagles and their fans for years to come. Every big play and touchdown will serve as another painful reminder of what could have been.
“This will never go away,” Solak said. “Metcalf will be 35 and have had a Hall of Fame career and Eagles fans will still be talking about what he would have been in Philadelphia because he was so immediately good in a particular role – deep and vertical – that the Eagles so desperately needed in 2019 and still again in 2020.”