DK Metcalf and A.J. Brown: The college teammates turned Combine freaks and NFL stars | Sporting News

    a.j. Brown knew what he was talking about before the rest of the soccer world was on board. In February 2019, Brown posted a photo of himself and DK Metcalf, varsity teammates on Ole Miss, posing shirtless. The caption read, in part: “This about to [be] bigger than Odell and Jarvis Landry when they entered the [LSU] draft.”

    nfl executives should have paid more attention. The wide receiver duo who played on some mediocre Ole Miss teams have become two of the NFL’s rising stars at wide receiver in their second year in the league. Metcalf makes a “Sportscenter” top 10 play seemingly weekly for the Seahawks, while Brown is the unquestioned no. 1 receiver for the titans. The pair have yet to pair up in the NFL, but while they mostly star on opposite sides of the country, Brown and Metcalf are arguing that Brown’s caption before the 2019 NFL Draft was correct.

    with metcalf and brown making waves in the nfl, we take a look back at their time in college, along with how they turned strong nfl combinations into solid landing spots to become two of the game’s brightest young stars. .

    more info: dk metcalf’s combined nfl performance made him a star

    dk metcalf and a.j. brown in ole miss

    metcalf and brown each spent three years in oxford, mississippi. Both were recruited by Hugh Freeze, but their last season with the Rebels was in 2016, the freshman season for both Metcalf and Brown. That first year ended with a 5-7 record for the Ole Miss even though it also included future NFL tight end Evan Engram, and Metcalf and Brown were just cogs in that offense.

    The 2017 season was a little better, as Mississippi went 6-6. Brown emerged as a sophomore, catching 75 passes for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns. Ole Miss also included future NFL players van jefferson, dawson knox, jordan wilkins and jordan ta’amu in their offense that year, and metcalf was well below brown’s pace, catching 39 passes for 646 yards and seven tds.

    metcalf hurt his neck as a junior and was limited, but brown shone again, catching 85 passes for 1,320 yards. However, with Metcalf losing five games, the Rebels went back to 5-7.

    It wasn’t Brown’s or Metcalf’s fault that Ole Miss wasn’t a winning team during their time on campus. The Mavericks’ defense couldn’t stop anyone, ranking in the bottom 30 in the country in scoring defense in the three seasons Metcalf and Brown spent in the city. playing in the highly competitive second, a bad defense was never going to work.

    the secondary stage also allowed brown and metcalf to put together some good highlights, however, playing against other upcoming nfl talent, and that meant they could both enter the draft safely after three seasons in college and expect that it went well. As it turned out, the draft day slides for both of them sent them to better winners than they had ever played in college.

    this was bigger than odell and jarvis landry when they entered the draft. two potential first-round draft picks from the same school. @nfl I hope you’re ready. @olemissfb @exossports

    dk metcalf at nfl combine: 40 yard dash and bench press

    It’s fair to call Metcalf’s performance at the 2019 NFL combine historic.

    metcalf ran the fastest 40-yard dash in history for a player weighing 225 pounds or more (metcalf was 228 pounds combined). he ran his 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds, fourth among wrs that year overall.

    Along with that 40 time, Metcalf led all wide receivers in the bench press, completing 27 reps of 225 pounds. he also had a vertical jump of 40.5 inches, third among catchers, and a long jump of 134.0 inches, fifth among catchers.

    it’s official @dkmetcalf14 ran a 4.33. it’s the fastest @nflnetwork has ever recorded by someone over 225 years old, including @saquon @shaquemgriffin @vernondavis85 and yes @calvinjohnsonjr

    a.j. brown in the nfl combine: 40 yard dash and bench press

    brown wasn’t as much of a fan of combine harvesters as metcalf, but he still displayed a tempting combination of size and speed that went with a résumé that showed more college production than metcalf.

    At 6-0 but 226 pounds, Brown’s combined gauges showed a very strong wide receiver. he backed him up on the bench press, ranking seventh among all wrs with 19 reps of 225lbs. And when Brown ran his 40-yard dash, he broke 4.5, finishing in 4.49 seconds. Only three receivers weighing at least Brown’s weight ran faster than him: Metcalf, Jazz Ferguson, and Hakeem Butler.

    brown surprised no one in the vertical jump or the long jump, but he was also solid in both, jumping 36.5 inches in the air and 120 inches in the long jump.

    how dk metcalf became a star with the seahawks

    metcalf’s biggest question mark was always going to be on the football field, on the pads, playing in games. that’s where he had been least productive in college. no one questioned his size, strength or speed; they wondered if he could be productive. It’s those doubts that led 63 players to jump ahead of Metcalf in the 2019 NFL draft.

    In a video from draft night, after Metcalf waited basically two full rounds (which meant two nights), Metcalf can be seen asking the Seahawks over the phone, “Why are you waiting so long, man? ” health was a big reason. he broke a bone in his neck when he was a sophomore at mississippi. he also had a foot injury when he was a freshman, which raised a couple of red flags with the name of a player who apparently hadn’t produced enough in college.

    ole miss hadn’t asked metcalf to do much. According to the Washington Post, the rebels basically asked Metcalf to run the routes. She might have made sense to them, but she limited what NFL teams could see as Metcalf could do. Some wondered in the same Washington Post story if the combined stars of the past who had been arrested were driving people away from Metcalf, somehow overthinking everything.

    but metcalf was always a good football player, maybe not always healthy and maybe not always used dynamically in college, but a good football player and a physical monster nonetheless. A pairing with Russell Wilson allowed the rookie wide receiver to work with one of the best QBS in the league, rather than someone inexperienced or underwhelming, which might have been the case if Metcalf had been drafted better.

    metcalf could serve as a reminder to teams that sometimes physical monsters pay off. It happened with Patrick Mahomes’ magic arm, and it’s happening with Josh Allen’s immense arm strength at Buffalo. Sometimes (as with Brown), college production is a great predictor of future success. But sometimes, there’s more to it, and in Metcalf’s case, much more. He hasn’t needed to change much as a player to shine in Seattle, just work hard and build a relationship with Wilson that has already made Metcalf one of the best wide receivers in the league.

    more: dk metcalf chases budda baker to deny the pick-six

    how a.j. brown became a star with the titans

    brown was the dominant college player that metcalf was not. His back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons on shaky ole miss teams showed that Brown could turn solid physical skills into production.

    unlike metcalf, the brown almost felt like a finished product. gave Brown a number of high praises in his draft profile, including calling him a good route runner with strong hands who was dangerous after the catch. but walterfootball also wrote that brown is not a “burner” and lacks deep speed that could help him achieve the breakup in the nfl.

    so that became the conundrum for nfl teams: take the productive college player who might lack an edge, or the physical monster who oozes potential. It turned out that both Brown and Metcalf left in the second round, but Brown’s quick blossoming in the NFL came from becoming the big threat some wondered he could be.

    As a rookie, Brown averaged 20.2 yards per catch, second in the NFL behind Mike Williams. He at times benefited from Tennessee’s strong action game, with Ryan Tannehill faking Derrick Henry before finding Brown on the field. But Brown’s powerful run with the ball in his hands also played well: His 204 yards after the catch as a rookie ranked in the top 30 in the NFL.

    Brown faltered in the second half of 2019 after a blistering start, but in his sophomore year, he has drawn on some of the things that made him such a productive all-around receiver at ole misses. Instead of being a one-trick, big-play pony like he was in 2019, Brown has embraced being a possession receiver who moves the chains when the Titans need him. that role still allows him to break up big plays when they’re available.

    on october 1, 25 against the steelers, brown ran a banked route from the left flank, and tannehill connected with him under the sticks. Brown turned on the afterburners and beat everyone down the right sideline for a 73-yard touchdown. At the time, his top running speed was tied for the fastest by a ball-carrying WR in the NFL in 2020. As it turns out, Brown could also be one of the best receivers in the NFL by mustering immense athletic talent with skills. real wide receiver. It is the latter that was shown more for Brown in college, while Metcalf was more of the former. but they both had the right combination all the time.

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