Should Seahawks trade DK Metcalf? The math says no.
For those wondering if the Seahawks really should trade DK Metcalf, the math clearly says no. As a matter of fact, the math says hell no. Not to be emphatic about it or anything.
Now that Russell Wilson is gone, everyone on the planet now has a new favorite Seahawks trade target. That would be the extremely talented and marketable DK Metcalf. Some of these trade ideas have been so laughably terrible – well, just look at this one that was floated not long ago. Comical, right? I’m here to tell you, almost any trade idea for the Emerald City Adonis is comically bad. Yes 12s, we’re about to get mathy.
Virtually every team has been mentioned as in the market for Metcalf. Virtually every article you’ll find extolls the virtues of the Seahawks Number 14, as well they should. What strikes me as comical, laughable, or often ludicrous is that very little thought is given to what Seattle would receive in kind.
The true value of DK Metcalf in draft capital: more than you think
It’s always about how great Metcalf would look streaking down the sidelines of (insert random stadium here). Typically it’s assumed that Pete Carroll and John Schneider would be happy to send their star receiver packing for a sixth-round pick and a carton of chicken soup. Time to get real, 12s, and see what DK Metcalf is really worth.
I’m no statistician, although I did play Strat-O-Matic decades ago. For a quick and easy comparison of value, I’ll use the values of players assigned by the good folks of pro-football-reference.com. Okay, technically we’ll use the Weighted Career Approximate Values, but I didn’t want to scare you off right away. On this page, you’ll see the values of every player from the 2019 draft, including, of course, DK Metcalf. Here’s a fun little trick; if you sort the table by value, rather than pick, you’ll see that Metcalf is ranked fourth in the draft, behind Kyler Murray, Devin White, and A.J. Brown.
Metcalf is credited with 29 points of approximate value. If you really want to go down the rabbit hole and see how they calculate approximate value, dive in right here. I’ll see you in about…oh, an hour or two. Okay, maybe 15 minutes. Basically, it allows a comparison of the value of a player at any position to the value of another player at any other position. There you go. So, back to Mr. Metcalf and draft value.
As I said, Metcalf’s approximate value so far is 29. Obviously, you want adequate compensation not just for what he’s done already, but also for his future production. His per-game stats compare favorably to the greatest wide receivers in the game. So of course the Seahawks would demand a lot of draft capital in return. But here’s the thing; the draft is ultimately a crapshoot, and everybody knows it. Especially Seattle.
Just weeks ago, the Chiefs sent Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins for the 29th, 50th, and 125th picks of the 2022 draft, plus their fourth and sixth-round picks of 2023. The career approximate value of players drafted in those positions in 2018: 10, 22, and 11. The 50th player was Dallas tackle Connor Williams. Let’s go back to 2017; those same draft positions yielded values of 12, 8, and 25 (the last being current 49ers linebacker Samson Ebukam, drafted by the Rams). In 2016, you got values of 6, 28, and 13.
Remember though, these are career values; guard Nick Martin’s career value of 28 breaks down to an average of fewer than 5 points per year. Metcalf’s yearly average is 9.7 For comparison’s sake, Megatron’s career approximate value was 94, an average of 10.4. The always underrated Tyler Lockett’s yearly average is 9.4, Doug Baldwin’s was 7.9, and Steve Largent’s was exactly 10.0.
By the way, the year the Lions took Megatron with the second pick, 2007? The number one pick was Jamarcus Russell. His entire career equaled one bad season. Now, tell me again how it’s such a great idea to trade a known superstar player for a draft pick.