WALNUT, Calif. – Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf couldn't catch the field in his heat of a 100-meter race at the USA Track and Field Golden Games on Sunday, finishing ninth out of nine but in a respectable time of 10.37 seconds.
Although Metcalf didn't earn a spot in the final, he did pick up the respect of sprinters who were out to prove that track speed was far different from football fast.
Wearing earrings and a gold necklace, Metcalf burst out of the blocks in fine fashion. He wasn't left behind either and pretty much kept in the mix until the finish line. The winner of his heat was Cravon Gillespie, who finished in 10.11 seconds to barely edge Mike Rodgers and went on to win the race.
Metcalf left the track with a new level of respect.
“These are world-class athletes,” Metcalf said during the broadcast on NBC streaming service Peacock. “It's very different from football speed, from what I just realized.”
The 6-foot-4 Metcalf ran 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine before the 2019 draft.
But what really got people buzzing about Metcalf’s speed was when he chased down Arizona defensive back Budda Baker from behind after an interception to prevent what seemed to be a sure touchdown last season. Metcalf made up nearly 10 yards on Baker and reached a top speed of 22.64 mph in pads and cleats. He ran around 108.8 yards on the play to tackle Baker short of the end zone.
Metcalf's decision to race had track standouts such as Rodgers, a 2016 Olympian, eager to see him show up. They're frequently challenged by speedy athletes in other sports. Metcalf actually put his fast feet to the test.
“I just applaud him just from coming out to even attempt to do what he’s doing," Rodgers said.
Rodgers had said he would be impressed if Metcalf ran under 10.2 seconds. Metcalf's time was originally listed at 10.36 before being changed to 10.37.
He earned praise from broadcaster Ato Boldon, a four-time Olympic medal winner as a sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago.
Devon Allen, a 2016 Olympian in the 110-meter hurdles, posted on social media: “Yo that was SOLID for sure! RESPECT.”
The performance of Metcalf caught the attention of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who tweeted: “10.36 is crazy tho at that size!! Mad respect!”
Asked if his time might encourage him to take the track again, Metcalf smiled and responded, “I've got minicamp to go to.”