There is already plenty of intrigue for the Seattle Seahawks-Cincinnati Bengals Week 6 game, but one storyline to watch is the fascinating head-to-head matchup of two recent top-five picks.
"I tip my hat off to him," Metcalf said, "with what he's been able to do his first three years in the league."
But Metcalf also finished his answer with a prediction -- and a twist.
"It'll be fun to watch Sunday," Metcalf said, via All Bengals' James Rapien, "but I think Spoon will get the best of him."
Spoon is Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who is set to play his fourth NFL game Sunday. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft missed the opener with a hamstring injury, but he worked his way into Seattle's starting defense in Week 2. So far, so good.
The last time we saw Witherspoon, he turned in a historic performance in Week 4 against the Giants. With the return of Tariq Woolen to the lineup, Witherspoon was allowed to move into the role he was projected to play when he was drafted – at slot corner. All Witherspoon did was run back a 97-yard pick-six, collect two sacks, another QB hit and seven tackles.
After he heard Metcalf's bold prediction, Witherspoon seemed more than OK with it.
"That's dope," he said, via The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. "Shoutout to DK.''
Chase's reaction? He brushed it off but said he'll be ready for Sunday.
"He ain't doing nothing but praising his teammate," Chase said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer's Kelsey Conway. "That's what he's supposed to do. At the end of the day it's about game-time roasting, a game-time decision. He's going to get the opportunity to get his matchup and (we'll) see who wins that matchup."
The Bengals' offense struggled early this season as quarterback Joe Burrow tried to manage a painful and limiting calf injury, with Cincinnati starting the season 1-3. But Burrow got on track and Chase reminded everyone how dominant a receiver he can be last Sunday, catching his first touchdown of the season -- one of three on the day -- along with 15 receptions and 192 yards in a much-needed win for the Bengals at Arizona.
This sets up as a potentially terrific matchup, with the rookie squaring off with one of the league's best young stars. But there is the question of just how much they'll actually see each other on Sunday.
Witherspoon lined up almost exclusively on the outside in Weeks 2 and 3. He was shifted inside in Week 4 against the Giants, and that's the spot the Seahawks would love for him to settle in at. But head coach Pete Carroll said Witherspoon will continue to work at both spots.
Chase has only lined up in the slot on 78 snaps (26%) this season, according to Next Gen Stats. He's lined up outside 215 times (71%), also appearing in the backfield and at tight end sparingly.
Did Metcalf spill the beans on the Seahawks' game plan Sunday? Witherspoon hasn't followed receivers around the field to this point, lining up exclusively on the left side when he was lined up outside. That would be quite the 60-minute assignment for such a young player on the road.
But however often they end up facing each other, Chase versus Witherspoon should be a quality showdown featuring two terrific young talents.