Sports Spectrum Draft Special

Receiver D.K. Metcalf aims to spread 'the Gospel through football' when he gets to NFL

D.K. Metcalf’s numbers from his time at Ole Miss won’t get him drafted. In three seasons, the wide receiver caught just 67 passes for 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns. Most elite prospects turn in stats like that in one season.

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But there are plenty other numbers that have NFL teams chomping at the chance to take Metcalf in this year’s draft, which kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Such as his results from the NFL Combine: 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 27 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, and 40.5 inches in the vertical jump. And at 6-foot-3, 228 lbs., he’ll instantly be one of the biggest, fastest and strongest receivers in the league.

Thus, Metcalf is expected to be a first- or second-round pick, and one of the first receivers selected. Once he joins a team, he’ll go to work trying to shed the “injury prone” label that plagued him in college, which is why he played only 21 games in three years.

In just his second game as a freshman in 2016, Metcalf had already caught two touchdowns. But then he broke his left foot to end his season.

“When I got hurt, it hurt me,” he told the Daily Mississippian. “It hurt me really bad knowing that I couldn’t play anymore, but I looked at it as God does everything for a reason. I looked at it as He wanted me to get better in another aspect of the game. So, I wasn’t sad about it, I went to rehab every day.”

Metcalf played 12 games in 2017, with 39 catches for 646 and seven touchdowns. But in the seventh game of 2018, after hauling in 26 catches, 569 yards and five TDs, he broke a bone in his neck, thus ending another season prematurely.

But after more rehab and the eye-popping numbers at the combine, Metcalf is ready for the NFL. “God gave me another opportunity to play,” he says, “so I’m just going to live it up to the fullest.”

Metcalf’s father, uncle and grandfather all played in the NFL. His dad, Terrence, was drafted out of Mississippi in the third round by the Chicago Bears in 2002. He played seven seasons as an offensive lineman, and appeared in Super Bowl XLI.

Now it’s D.K.’s turn to join an NFL team. He sees the opportunity not only as a chance to fulfill a dream and follow in his father’s footsteps, but as a chance to share the Gospel as well.

“I look at football as a platform to help other people or to spread the word of God,” he told the Daily Mississippian. “I know many people don’t want to just sit in church and just listen or to go to church. Me looking at it as ‘How’d you get here, what’d you do?’ I put my faith in God, my trust in God and that He’s blessed me each and every day to play the game of football. Me spreading the Gospel through football is how I look at it.”

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