Mississippi Rebels wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (14) catches a touchdown pass as Florida State Seminoles defensive back Tarvarus McFadden (4) defends in the second quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

2019 NFL draft will provide league with injection of size at wide receiver

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The 2019 NFL draft may not have a can’t-miss wide receiver prospect in its draft pool, but it has several hard-to-miss early round players who offer exactly what teams looking for big-bodied pass-catchers need.

D.K. Metcalf (6-3, 225) leads the pack with his combination of size and explosive downfield playmaking ability. The son of former NFL receiver Terrance Metcalf has appealing NFL bloodlines and while his production at Ole Miss doesn’t mirror his overflowing physical traits, he’s a classic example of a player who will be a better pro than collegiate.

Metcalf is a likely top-10 pick and if he runs well at the NFL combine, he could go even higher than that.

Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf | Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

In a traditional draft year, Metcalf’s size would make him a unique prospect among his peers. In 2019, he’s one of several receivers who is expected to measure in at 6-2 or taller: Kelvin Harmon (NC State; 6-3), N’Keal Harry (ASU, 6-3), Riley Ridley (Georgia; 6-2), Hakeem Butler (Iowa State; 6-6).

The list goes on and on. And these aren’t players who teams will take a flyer on in Day 3. They’re legitimate top-75 prospects who should know what city they’ll call home before the end of the third round.

The NFL has become a wide-open, quick-hitting passing league that’s been trending toward speedy receivers like Antonio Brown (Steelers) and Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) in recent years. But there will always be a place for imposing outside threats like Julio Jones (Falcons), and while none of this year’s prospects is on Jones’ level, many of them will enjoy long and productive careers.

Expect a major run on receivers in the second and third rounds in the 2019 NFL draft, and it’ll be a run that features towering and physically imposing prospects who are capable of keeping opposing defensive backs up at night.

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