It’s the summer of DK Metcalf in Seattle, and we’re way past the point of slowing down the rookie’s hype train. A few days ago, Russell Wilson said Metcalf has the talent to be a “Hall of Fame-type player.” We’re obviously several years away from knowing whether Metcalf’s road will lead to Canton, Ohio.
But in the short term, Metcalf told reporters following a dominant practice on Monday that he expects himself to be an immediate contributor for the Seahawks.
“I always expect highly of myself cause I don’t want to set my goals too low,” Metcalf said. “I always want to have something to reach for. I’m always going to shoot for the stars.”
Seahawks training camp is void of high-profile position battles. For the most part, Seattle knows who its going to battle with when the 2019 regular season rolls around. A dearth of prominent storylines has only magnified the spotlight shining on Metcalf.
Thus far, the Ole Miss product hasn’t disappointed. Metcalf’s 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame coupled with blazing 4.33 speed continues to turn heads through four practices. On Monday, Metcalf hauled in a one-handed, 40-yard touchdown catch from Wilson down the left sideline in a 7-on-7 period. Later during the same drill, Wilson hit Metcalf’s back shoulder for a 6-yard score.
It’s been apparent to Ken Norton Jr. that Metcalf is quickly becoming one of Wilson’s go-to guys.
“Anytime we get close to the red zone, with that big body, we know they’re going to throw it up to him,” the Seahawks defensive coordinator said. “He’s been efficient in his catches. He’s been learning how to use his body. It’s been fun to watch.”
Metcalf has clearly benefited from a summer trip to Southern California with Wilson and the rest of Seattle’s pass catchers. He works daily on his growing rapport with the Seahawks franchise quarterback.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Metcalf said. “After practice or after drills, I’ll tell him what I saw and he’ll tell me what he saw – just continuing to work on our chemistry.”
Metcalf is also leaning on the veteran receivers on the roster. Tyler Lockett is the leader of the group and has already taken Metcalf under his wing, something that has accelerated the rookie’s learning curve.
“It’s helped me a lot,” Metcalf said. “It’s been Tyler, D-Mo (David Moore), J.B. (Jaron Brown) – all those guys giving me little tips and hints along the way. Tyler and I do footwork drills before practice. He teaches me stuff Doug (Baldwin) taught him.”
Despite his size and standout measurables, Metcalf wasn’t tremendously productive in college. He accumulated 65 receptions for 1,215 yards and 12 touchdowns over his final two seasons combined -- good, but not great numbers. That’s likely part of the reason why he tumbled down the wide receiver draft board on draft day. Metcalf slipped all the way to the end of the second round at pick No. 64. and was the ninth receiver taken.
None of that seems to matter at this point. He is rapidly becoming a fan favorite with several 12s showing up to open camp practices donning Metcalf jerseys. Pete Carroll embraced the hype surrounding Metcalf, saying the love from fans was warranted.
He, too, is eager to unleash Metcalf and see what happens.
“We are really excited about him and how he has the chance to contribute,” Carroll said. “But, this receiving group is a really good group, it’s very competitive. It’s nice to have different dimension guys, different sizes and shapes. He certainly is a very unique one to add to the mix.”
Seattle opens the preseason at home on Aug. 8 against the Denver Broncos. Many fans will buy tickets for the sole purpose of seeing Metcalf take the field for the first time in a game situation.