Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has blossomed into one of the league’s best young wideouts in 2020. He ranks 12th in yards and 5th in touchdowns. With MVP candidate Russell Wilson throwing him the football, Metcalf is shattering expectations for a receiver who fell to the 64th pick of the 2019 draft. Coaches around the league have expectedly noticed, with the latest being Kyle Shanahan of the division rival San Francisco 49ers.
Shanahan said to reporters, “You could see how big [Metcalf] was, how he ran, had the ability to do everything… He had some bad luck with some injuries, which I think made some people worried, but everyone sees now. He’s as good as there gets right now. He’s been healthy, plays hard and he’s got a big future. Wish he wasn’t in our division.”
That’s lofty praise coming from anyone, but especially from Shanahan, who’s notoriously one of the NFL’s brightest offensive minds. He’s been at the helm of multiple elite offenses throughout his coaching career in Atlanta and San Francisco. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about evaluating talent.
Ironically, the 49ers actually had a chance to draft Metcalf. After taking defensive end Nick Bosa second overall, they selected wideout Deebo Samuel over Metcalf in the second round. Samuel has proven to be a key piece of San Francisco’s offense in his short NFL career but hasn’t quite performed to Metcalf’s impressive level.
Any team who passed on Metcalf is likely regretting their decision, and San Francisco is no different. And having to play him twice a year adds salt in the wound.
Metcalf will have another opportunity to earn respect from Shanahan this weekend when the Seahawks play Shanahan’s Niners in Seattle. The Seahawks are atop the competitive NFC West at 5-2, while the 49ers are dead last despite their respectable 4-3 record.