D.K. Metcalf is a talent. At 6’3 and 228 pounds, he is a physical specimen who has some expecting him to be the next Julio Jones. Metcalf’s size and speed will help bail out Russell Wilson when he invariably scrambles out of a clean pocket, while his incredibly toned and muscled body makes him the hottest fancy for Seahawks Twitter since Christine Michael posed shirtless in star-spangled pajamas.
Of course, you know most of this stuff already. As one of the most educated fanbases in the NFL, I have full confidence that you have learned as much as you can about D.K. within five minutes of his selection in April. I do find, however, that a majority of the articles written about him does not fully explain his role in the Seahawks’ offense. Most of the scouting reports that I have read showcase his deep ball and route-running abilities, which are exceptional, but ultimately meaningless to a Schottenheimer playbook. To be useful in Seattle’s offense, you have to commit yourself to the run game and be selfless. Thankfully, Metcalf does that too.
A successful running game is the key to winning in the NFL, and that is ultimately built through a mean offensive line, physical tight ends, and talented running backs. Last offseason, the Seahawks heavily invested in those three aspects, with the acquisitions of D.J. Fluker, Ed Dickson, and Rashaad Penny. Subsequently, the fanbase has rallied around these talents, citing them to be the key pieces that facilitated Seattle’s return to the playoffs.
No doubt the aforementioned units are vital, creating many gains of 3 or 4 yards on the field to wear down defenses. But the difference between those contained gains and a big play is often determined by receivers being willing and able blockers. Art Monk, Larry Fitzgerald, Cris Carter, and Hines Ward are often considered some of the greatest receivers the game has ever seen because of their tenacious blocking abilities.
Metcalf has the attitude to be bold in his physicality and jam defensive backs on the line of scrimmage. The Draft Scout Network graded Metcalf as “a plus blocker, with the potential to be a dominant one because of his frame.” Buffalo Ramblings showcased how D.K.’s speed and athleticism allow him to run decoy routes and engage in downfield blocks, where his “incredible upper-body strength was instantly noticeable.”
Most importantly, Metcalf himself “loves to block” and takes pride in his abilities. With such stubborn commitment, there is no doubt that the already impressive Seahawks running game will continue to improve in the future.
There is no need to overthink this. Ever since Doug Baldwin’s retirement, Metcalf has been heralded as the heir to the dynamic playmaker. I personally compare him to the heyday of Jermaine Kearse and his abilities to drop passes and run block. People often become enamored with the potential of a full-fledged passing attack, but take a moment to remind yourself that the team-wide effort of the ground game led Seattle to two consecutive Super Bowls merely five years ago.
D.K. Metcalf is a match made in heaven for an offensive coordinator who refuses to apologize for having principles. I can’t wait to see how he contributes to the run game in 2019.