Philadelphia Eagles: Passing on DK Metcalf was 2019’s original sin

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

By selecting JJ Arcega-Whiteside 57th overall, the Philadelphia Eagles delivered DK Metcalf to the Seattle Seahawks and sealed their own fate in two separate games.

When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted JJ Arcega-Whiteside with the 57th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, it was near-universally lauded.

Pro Football Focus loved JJAW as a prospect for his ability to impact the red zone like a power forward, draft scouts called the 22-year-old Stanford product a certified top-50 prospect, and nary a Twitter user had an issue with him either as a player or as a person.

Factor in the additions of Andre Dillard and Miles Sanders and Howie Roseman looked pretty darn good through the draft’s first two days.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

The same could not be said for the Eagles’ eventual Week 12 and 18 opponents the Seattle Seahawks.

You see, after going defense at the 29th and 47th overall picks with the selections of L.J. Collier and Marquise Blair respectfully, the Hawks opted to take their own big-bodied wide receiver in the second round, only unlike their aerial compadres, they opted for a much more controversial player – at least according to some smarter than thou talent evaluators.

DK Metcalf doesn’t look like a traditional wide receiver; he looks like a professional wrestler. Measuring in at 6-foot-4, 229 pounds with nary an ounce of fat on his massive frame, fans cheered when the perplexingly utilized Ole Miss wide receiver ran a 4.33 40 at the combine – almost as much as scouts jeered when he recorded a beyond slow 7.38 in the three-cone drill.

In some people’s opinions, Metcalf was a glorified go-route specialist, a player who would never be able to run a full route tree or do what it takes to become a star.

That opinion lasted all of one week into the regular season, as Metcalf put up 89 yards on four catches.

From there, Metcalf performed admirably as the Seahawks’ clear number two pass-catching option and amassed 900 yards, 43 first downs, and seven touchdowns over 16 regular-season games (15 starts).

But wait, it gets worse.

In the Eagles’ second game of the season against the Seahawks, a must-win four-five Wild Card bout for a chance to face off against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, Metcalf put on a show for the ages – we’re talking seven catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.

JJAW only has 169 yards on the entire regular season, and it took him three more catches to reach that mark.

Despite missing yet another downfield bomb that probably would have been a touchdown – a similar sight to his Week 12 performance – Metcalf was clear-cut the best wide receiver on the field in a game that also featured starters like Greg Ward and Robert Davis.

It turns out any fears of Metcalf becoming the next Dorial Green-Beckham were vastly overblown, and instead, the 6-foot-4 bruiser is a freakish mix of the best parts of Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson – a mix the NFL hasn’t seen since… Calvin Johnson?

Boy, the Eagles could have used a reliable replacement for one of those players, let alone both.

dark. Next. Josh McCown went out swinging

Now granted, would things have been different had DK Metcalf been in a midnight green jersey? Maybe, maybe not, that’s like asking if the Philadelphia Eagles would have won had Carson Wentz not suffered a head injury at the hands (or helmet/shoulder) of Jadeveon Clowney – it’s unknowable. What is knowable, however, is that Howie Roseman had all but 56 prospects to choose from when they went on the clock on that faithful April evening and for some unconscionable reason, he selected the wrong player with an abbreviated name. Hopefully, that decision doesn’t haunt the team for years to come.