Five weeks into the college football season, upsets are finally starting to get rolling and players are starting to separate themselves from NFL teams. Some players have taken the reigns of their position groups while others have been left wondering where the hell their draft stocks have gone.
Two players with polar opposite results in their draft stocks this year have been the wide receiving duo from Ole Miss, D.K Metcalf and A.J Brown. Coming into this year, Brown was on top of a lot of draft boards as not only the best wide receiver in the class but as the top offensive player period. His teammate D.K Metcalf, has been lurking in the shadows, and this season their true character has shown through. You could say these two have become the college football version of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Let's take a closer look as to why that is the case.
The top four teams in the SEC are usually, in no particular order, are usually Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and Auburn. The staple of a good SEC team is always its defense and these teams have developed not just good college players but good NFL players. How Brown and Metcalf have produced against these teams speaks volumes to how well they can potentially convert to NFL defenses.
In eight career games against those top SEC teams, Brown has averaged just 3.5 catches for 41.25 yards against the teams mentioned, and he has only scored once in those eight games. Against all other competition, Brown has an astounding 102 catches for 1,715 yards and 15 scores. Ladies and gentlemen, meet our Mr. Hyde of Dixie.
Our Dr. Jekyll, D.K Metcalf, has fared far better in top SEC competition in his career and its wonder as to why he was never given the spotlight before. In his four career games against the top SEC schools, Metcalf has brought in 12 balls for 181 yards and 3 scores. He has also played well against lesser teams, racking up 47 catches for 846 yards and 10 scores.
Brown has the bigger workload, which is why his numbers have more pop to them. If Metcalf was given the same workload, based on the numbers than Metcalf would be just as productive overall. The difference lies in how they perform against the countries top defenses and that is where Metcalf steals the show.
This coming week, Ole Miss will travel to Baton Rouge to see if they can tame the Tigers led by defensive stars Devin White and Greedy Williams. White and Williams abused a talented Auburn offense already this year who had great quarterback play. The Runnin Rebels’ don't have the same caliber of quarterback as Auburn, but they do have the more talented receivers in Brown and Metcalf. Truly great receivers are able to make plays and overcome poor play from the quarterback, so this week will be one of, if not their last chance to show that they can handle top defenses.
This is incredibly true for Brown, where a bad week against LSU - at least in my eyes - takes him out of the top receivers in this upcoming class. On the flip side, if Metcalf can perform as he has against the top teams, he can become the top receiver in this upcoming draft class.
Looking ahead now, depending on the teams these two land on, both Brown and Metcalf have a chance to be great NFL players. However, when you dive deeper into the numbers and see how they perform against the different levels of competition, it's hard to ignore which of these players deserve your eyes and picks come next year.