Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

You can add Nate Burleson to the list of people who are still shocked that DK Metcalf slid to the end of the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Metcalf’s free fall was curious then, especially given that many believed he was the top receiver in his draft class, but it looks even sillier now.

Burleson said too many people looked for reasons why Metcalf wouldn’t succeed rather than the other way around.

“You look at his frame, you look at his speed, you look at how strong he is and then you think about what he can do with great coaching,” Burleson said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “That’s where people didn’t really break him down.”

Metcalf was tremendous as a rookie, catching 58 passes during the regular season for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He then torched the Eagles in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs for 160 yards (an NFL rookie record) and a score.

He laid an impressive groundwork and is now a prime candidate to take a significant step forward in his second season.

“He’s literally just scratching the surface, which is scary,” Burleson said. “He’s humble, he’s hungry and he’s just a cool cat. I would love to see him have a breakout year. He’s going to be one of the best receivers in the league someday soon.”

Burleson echoed what Brian Schottenheimer said last week: that Metcalf will have to move around more in order to reach his ceiling. That’s the plan for the 6-foot-4 specimen in 2020. Burleson made a lofty comparison to his former teammate Calvin Johnson when discussing Metcalf’s potential.


Johnson, better known as Megatron (arguably a top five nickname in NFL history), learned how to work the middle of the field like a traditional slot receiver. His efforts to mimic the likes of Danny Amendola and Wes Welker made the 6-foot-5, 237-pound receiver unstoppable.

Burleson was Johnson’s teammate when Megatron erupted for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2011 and 1,964 yards in 2012. Unstoppable indeed. Metcalf is a tick smaller at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, but he possesses similar all-world athleticism. Burleson believes Seattle’s 22-year-old phenom can make a similar Megatron-like jump someday.

“If DK can do that, he’ll be unstoppable,” Burleson said. “If you put him in the slot and put him against a nickel corner or a linebacker or a safety, it’s curtains for the defender.”

Metcalf has the obvious benefit of playing with an elite quarterback like Russell Wilson. His mix of talent, drive and situation make Burleson’s forecast, while certainly ambitious, entirely conceivable as well.