DK Metcalf is already one of the best wide receivers in the NFL at age 22, but not many people saw that coming when he was a draft prospect in 2019. Metcalf was an intriguing prospect because of his unique combination of size and straight-line speed, but there were still red flags surrounding the Ole Miss product.
Somehow, eight wide receivers were drafted before the Seattle Seahawks took Metcalf with the final pick of the second round. Who were those fateful eight and how do their careers compare to Metcalf’s?
Marquise Brown: Round 1, pick 25
The first wide receiver in the 2019 NFL draft didn’t come off the board until the end of the first round. The Baltimore Ravens took the first WR when they selected Marquise Brown out of Oklahoma with the 25th overall pick.
Brown was impressive as a rookie. He led all Ravens wide receivers in receiving yards with 584, and he also scored seven touchdowns. His production still didn’t come close to Metcalf’s in 2019, as the Seattle WR racked up 900 receiving yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.
N’Keal Harry: Round 1, pick 32
This one stings for Patriots fans. N’Keal Harry was a highly touted prospect out of Arizona State, but he hasn’t panned out for New England. He caught just 12 passes for 105 yards as a rookie, and he only has 213 receiving yards in nine games played this season.
Metcalf has more receiving yards in his last four games than Harry has in his career. Yikes.
Deebo Samuel: Round 2, pick 36
Brown and Harry have both been disappointing so far based on their first-round price tag, but the San Francisco 49ers should be thrilled with their second-round receiver. The 49ers took Deebo Samuel with the fourth pick of the second round in 2019, and he’s shown the potential to become a star at the position.
Samuel recorded 802 receiving yards, 159 rushing yards, and six total touchdowns as a rookie. He just put up the best stat line of his career against the LA Rams, going for 11 catches and 133 yards.
A.J. Brown: Round 2, pick 51
None of the eight wide receivers taken before Metcalf have proven to be worth the investment, but A.J. Brown has clearly been the best of the bunch. He went off for 1,051 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns as a rookie, which were both higher than Metcalf’s rookie numbers.
Brown has 638 receiving yards and eight more touchdowns this season. And to think he and Metcalf were on the same team in college.
Mecole Hardman: Round 2, 56
The Kansas City Chiefs are obsessed with speed, so they used their second-round pick in 2019 on the speedy Mecole Hardman out of Georgia. He’s been a perfect addition to Kansas City’s potent offense, but imagine if Patrick Mahomes was slinging the ball to DK Metcalf instead.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside: Round 2, pick 57
This one was puzzling to say the least. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was a solid red zone threat at Stanford, but he didn’t possess the speed and route-running ability to be a top wide receiver prospect.
Well, the Philadelphia Eagles thought differently. They selected Arcega-Whiteside with the 57th overall pick, seven spots before Metcalf. In seven games played this year, Arcega-Whiteside has two catches for 45 yards. Not a great look for Howie Roseman.
Parris Campbell: Round 2, pick 59
Another questionable pick right before Metcalf went off the board. The Indianapolis Colts selected Parris Campbell out of Ohio State with the 59th overall pick, and he hasn’t done much yet in the NFL.
Campbell recorded just 127 receiving yards as a rookie, and he’s only played two games in 2020. There’s plenty of time for Campbell to find himself in the NFL, but it sure hasn’t happened yet.
Andy Isabella: Round 2, pick 62
Again, what are we doing here? No offense to Andy Isabella, but the Arizona Cardinals took a 5-foot-9, 188-pound slot receiver over a 6-foot-4, 229-pound freak of nature. Spoiler alert — it was a huge mistake.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference