Welcome back to another installment of our continued Monday Night Rookies series. Each week, we introduce you to a rookie from the upcoming Monday Night Football game and take a look into a few of their specific stats on the season. Week 10 of the NFL features the Monday night matchup of the Seattle Seahawks against the undefeated San Fransisco 49ers. There are a slew of up-and-coming rookies to choose from in this meeting but today we’ll be focusing on Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. Does this rookie have the tools needed to make an impact on Monday night? Let’s jump right in.
DeKaylin Zecharius “DK” Metcalf began his college career as a wide receiver for Ole Miss in 2016. He would play the first two games of the year, with two receptions for two touchdowns, before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury. Metcalf made his way back onto the field for Ole Miss in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons until suffering a season ending neck injury in ’18. He declared for the 2019 NFL Draft following the 2018 season finishing his college career with 67 receptions for 1,228 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Metcalf was selected in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks as the sixty-fourth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
PFN OSM Trends
We use the PFN OSM grading scale to determine a players individual performance on the field each week. For the 2019 season, DK has a current PFN OSM grade of 28.37. This places him as a ‘good’ receiver on the OSM grading scale and plants him as WR80 among all other NFL receivers. He has been trending up lately with three of his last four games ending with an OSM grade in the 30’s, including a Week 6 near-elite performance. DK’s 2019 OSM grade places him alongside names like Mike Evans, Kenny Golladay, and DeVante Parker.
Next Gen Stats
As I looked into Metcalf’s Nex Gen stats on the season, there were a couple that stood out among the others. Heading into this matchup, Metcalf is the 30th ranked receiver for YAC/R with 5.6 yards per reception. He is also the 19th ranked receiver in TAY with 14.2 yards per target. It’s important to point out that, unlike the OSM grading, these categories feature all available receivers, including tight ends.
YAC/R (yards after catch/reception) is the average number of yards that the receiver is able to pick up after making the catch. DK is one the league’s top performers in this category this year because of plays like I’ve included below. The first clip is from NFL Week 6. Watch how DK makes the catch at the 35 yard line but is able to fight two defenders until finally getting pushed out around the 10 adding another big play to his YAC averages.
Here’s a different look of what high YAC can look like. This time from Week 9 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here you will see Metcalf beat his defender and catches the ball just past the 30 yard line. In the previous clip, you saw DK use his strength to fight the defenders for the added yardage, however in this clip you will see him use his speed. After making the catch, he turns on the jets and takes it all the way in for six points. He would finish this game averaging 9.1 yards after catch. This was the 5th highest YAC average in Week 9.
DK also maintains higher TAY (targeted air yards) than his counterparts so far this season. For this stat, Next Get looks at how far down the field the player is at the time the ball is thrown his way. This stat includes all pass attempts made in a player’s direction whether they were complete or incomplete. In the next clip from Week 1, pay attention to Metcalf’s speed on his streak at the snap. He is able to get nearly 20 yards downfield before being targeted by quarterback Russell Wilson and making the grab. WR DK Metcalf ended the day averaging 16.3 TAY’s which was 10th in the League that week.
In summary, DK has been able to put up some respectable numbers so far this year in both PFN OSM grades and his Next Gen stats. He will be looking for favorable matchups with corners and being able to lean on the trusty arm of Russell Wilson to create yet another 30+ OSM grade.
The Seahawk’s are heading into Week 10 with a tall order ahead of them lining up against a 49er’s defense that hasn’t had a loss yet. Will Seattle be able to capitalize on DK Metcalf’s YAC abilities and TAY speed to get the needed edge? Or will their efforts lead to yet another notch in San Fransisco’s belt?
Be sure to check back in with us here next week for our Week 11 Monday Night Rookies highlight for the Chiefs at Chargers. If you have a favorite rookie that you would like us to highlight, let us know on Twitter.