Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room No. 149 D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss): Winning And Losing the Fade

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines NFL Draft prospect, WR D.K. Metcalf and two fade routes where an adjustment of technique makes all the difference.

I value players who rebound from mistakes. When performing on a big stage, it’s easy to climb into an emotional hole after a mistake. If a player can’t emotionally overcome a mistake on the college stage, it will be much harder in the NFL.  Remark all you want about big-time college football being a pseudo-amateur system that pays stars under the table, many NFL veterans will tell you that the NFL feels far more like a job.

D.K. Metcalf has two end zone fade routes in this game against Kentucky. The first, he drops; the second, he catches the game winner. The difference? How he positions his hands. Neither throw is ideal for the route, but Metcalf demonstrates the ability to make the proper technical adjustment after a lapse on the first play and still maintain his confidence in a clutch moment that resembled the potential touchdown he dropped earlier.

Metcalf’s performance above is no guarantee that he’ll be this resilient in the NFL. However, it shows what you want to see from a prospect. When you’re watching successful NFL players, you’ll see that they overcome mistakes. Those that don’t need a longer adjustment time and it tests the confidence of the organization that signed them to the roster.

Ryan Mathews was a top running back prospect. If you’ve seen enough of him on Sundays, then you know what he was capable of doing when playing at his best. However, Mathews’ confidence and maturity were lacking as a young pro and the game tested his emotional resiliency early. He matured enough to have a decent career, but he had the talent of an elite running back and didn’t always reach those heights.

The game requires as much emotional and mental toughness as it does physical resilience.

This analysis of Metcalf is only the beginning of what you’ll find every year in the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication. For most in-depth analysis of skill players available, get the 2018  Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each. You can pre-order the 2019 RSP beginning in December. 


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