More than muscles: Metcalf works to show NFL all-around game
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Even among NFL prospects, Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf stands out as a physical marvel.
He’s 6-foot-3, 228 pounds and had his body fat measured at a ridiculously low 1.9 percent. He ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.33 seconds. He did 27 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press. Pictures of him circulating on social media are so impressive they appear photoshopped .
There’s just one problem: For a 21-year-old who looks like Superman, Metcalf spent a lot of his college career on the sideline with injuries.
It’s one of the few worrisome parts of his resume, but Metcalf says he’s not concerned.
“People are going to criticize — people are going to like you or hate you,” Metcalf said. “I’m just going to let people talk. If a team asks about my injuries, yeah, they’re freak injuries. Freak injuries are going to happen in the game of football. It’s dangerous.”
Metcalf played in just 21 of a possible 36 games during his three-year college career. He missed 10 games as a true freshman because of a broken foot. He also missed the last five games of the past season with a neck injury .
When healthy, he was a big part of the Ole Miss offense, catching 67 passes for 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was particularly good in the red zone, where he could use his height and strength to make plays.
Metcalf ran routes and caught passes on Friday at the Ole Miss pro day in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams. He said he’s completely healthy and that claim was backed by several impressive catches to show he’s more than just a workout warrior.
The receiver said he’s had plenty of good advice going through the draft process. His father is Terrence Metcalf, who was a star offensive lineman at Ole Miss before playing seven seasons in the NFL.
“Having my dad is like a cheat code because he’s been through all of this,” Metcalf said. “He tells me stuff every day, gives me tips on what I need to do and what I don’t need to do. It’s good to have him around.”
Here are other notable players from the Ole Miss pro day:
A.J. BROWN, RECEVIER
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Brown wasn’t an NFL combine superstar such as Metcalf, but for the most part, his numbers were fine. He ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash and did 19 repetitions on the bench press.
Now that Brown is done with tests, he’s ready to do what he does best — catch the football.
“My opinion — the 40-yard dash and stuff like that, it doesn’t tell you if you’re a good football player,” Brown said. “Your film speaks to that.”
When scouts watch the film, they’ll see one of the most productive offensive players in Ole Miss history. Brown caught 189 passes for 2,984 yards and 19 touchdowns over three seasons. He was a third-team AP All-American last fall after catching 85 passes for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns.
DAWSON KNOX, TIGHT END
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Knox ran a 4.57 40-yard dash on Friday, according to unofficial results provided by Ole Miss. Knox was invited to the NFL combine and is considered an intriguing prospect even though he caught just 15 passes for 284 yards last season.
“I feel good about being on the same page of some of these (NFL) coaches now, just being able to show them I’m capable of more than I put on film,” Knox said.
JORDAN TA’AMU, QUARTERBACK
The senior was a surprise starter this season after Shea Patterson transferred to Michigan. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder took advantage of the opportunity, throwing for 3,918 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
He was invited to the NFL combine and is trying to prove he’s worthy of a late-round selection. The Hawaiian says he plans to go back home for the draft and watch with family.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome day for me,” Ta’amu said.