D.K. Metcalf had a good rookie season, but history suggests he may overtake Tyler Lockett as the Seahawks’ No. 1 WR this year.
The Seattle Seahawks took D.K Metcalf late in the second round of the 2019 draft, with the hope his physical tools would lead to production. He finished with 58 catches (on 100 targets) for 900 yards and seven touchdowns, then set a rookie playoff record with 160 yards in the Wild Card Round against the Philadelphia Eagles.
At the Super Bowl in February, with seven drops and three fumbles as a rookie, Metcalf cited room for improvement heading toward his second season. He’s easily seen as a breakout candidate heading into 2020, and Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has suggested Metcalf’s route tree will be expanded.
Focusing on a couple statistics, recent history suggests Metcalf is in for pretty big things this year.
Since 2013, six wide receivers have had 50 or more catches and averaged over 15 yards per catch as a rookie. Per NFL Research, via Grant Gordon of NFL.com, here’s what those guys did for yardage in their second seasons.
JuJu Smith-Schuster-2018: 1,426 yards
Mike Evans-2015: 1,206 yards
Sammy Watkins-2015: 1,047 yards
DeAndre Hopkins-2015: 1,210 yards
Josh Gordon-2013: 1,646 yards
T.Y. Hilton-2013: 1,083 yards
For further reference Tyler Lockett led the Seahawks with 82 catches for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He also only had 10 more targets than Metcalf (110), despite noted rapport and success with Russell Wilson.
Seattle’s insistence on running the ball, and thus keeping the reigns on Wilson until he often has to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat late in games, is still foolish. But there is room for two wide receivers to make an impact, as shown last year with Metcalf’s arrival and production.
It’s now a pertinent question who will be the No. 1 wide receiver for the Seahawks in 2020. If the recent trend is an indicator, we’ll be saying it’s Metcalf and not Lockett by season’s end.