A friend of mine, we will call him Bradford, recently asked me who he should take in our Rookie draft this year if faced with the decision of selecting either Elijah Holyfield or D.K. Metcalf. I quickly scoffed at the question as they are two very different players at different positions. But then I kept thinking about it and decided, why not write about it? Well, Bradford, I hope this helps. (All height and weight measurements are official NFL Combine statistics.) I have also included Youtube highlights of both players, for your viewing pleasure.
Elijah Holyfield- 5’10”, 217 LBS
Watching film of Holyfield reminds me of vintage Shady McCoy mixed with Saquon Barkley. He can dance and push the ball outside, but is extremely powerful and cannot be taken down with a mere arm tackle. Playing time for him at Georgia was hard to come by, however, as he was in the unfortunate situation of being stuck behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel the last few years. This season, he split time with D’Andre Swift and started 9 of 14 games, with Swift leading the way statistically.
As we can see, Holyfield still has an excellent YPC average and scored 7 TD’s, but Swift appears to be the best all-around back in the Georgia, as unlike Holyfield he had an active part in the passing game. Holyfield may not have done much to help his draft stock at the NFL Combine either, while turning in a sub-par 4.78 40 yard dash. He has never been known for elite speed, but his shiftiness and power make him a promising prospect. He was always in a time share collegiately, will that be what he does at the next level, or can he be a team’s bell cow? An ideal landing spot for him would be Baltimore, as at this moment they do not ask much out of their backs in the receiving game.
D.K. Metcalf- 6’3”, 228 LBS
Wow. Watching Metcalf battle cornerbacks for contested passes is a sheer thing of beauty. However, while watching film, it appears he runs the same route every play. Does he have a complete route tree? I know he is this year’s Combine darling, with that Instagram workout picture and body fat below 2%, but how many NFL receivers are that bulky and successful? Injuries are also a concern to me as he missed the majority of the 2016 and 2018 seasons with injury. So, can he stay healthy and run complete runs? Will he be utilized in the middle of the field to terrorize smaller Defensive Backs? Time will tell, but put on a receiver needy team with a half decent Quarterback (Washington) and he could be a day 1 starter. Might as well add Oakland to that list, as losing Amari Cooper and Martavis Bryant depleted their receiving corps. Here are D.K.’s collegiate statistics:
As we can see, the yards aren’t really there, but again injuries were a factor in his playing time and production. As is usually the case, however, any smart NFL GM will look past his paltry numbers and conclude that D.K. is a sure fire NFL prospect.
So, I guess I should make a decision. Well, landing spot and scheme are always important (ask @dynastyrich) but I believe that given the right situation, D.K. Metcalf looks to be the more promising prospect. Of course, we all hope he can stay healthy, and I still believe Holyfield can be a quality NFL player, I would just choose Metcalf over him.
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