To the surprise of nobody, the Alabama Crimson Tide is producing more NFL wide receivers. One of the next in line will be 2022 NFL draft prospect John Metchie. Dive into his scouting report below.
A three-year contributor in Alabama, Metchie had to wait his turn. Stuck behind first-rounders Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, it wasn’t until 2020 that he broke out with 916 receiving yards. The best was yet to come for the junior when he had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021. These efforts earned him a spot on the All-SEC Second Team. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in the SEC championship game against Georgia in what would be his final collegiate game. The hope is that this injury will not cost him any of his trademark speed.
As mentioned, Metchie can straight up fly. He is estimated to clock a time in the high 4.3’s in the 40-yard dash. That would make him next in a long line of Alabama speedsters. This part of his game allows him to be utilized on every level of the field as he has plenty of speed to take the top off of the defense on the deep over routes that have become a staple of the Alabama offense. He reaches these different field levels from different alignments as well.
Most often used out of the slot, Metchie was used on the outside as well. It is evident when watching the Crimson Tide offense that the game plan was often to get Metchie the ball in space. This worked often as he is a terrific player in the open field and, due to his thick build, is a load to bring down. Finally, his route running ability is top-notch, as his releases and route stems are nuanced and intelligent.
Bryce Young ➡️ John Metchie catch and run for the TD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ijKNt3st0o
— ESPN (@espn) October 16, 2021
Metchie is prone to some drops. A body catcher, he struggles to get his hands out to the ball and, at times, will let some easy completions hit the turf. This coincides with his contested catch ability. At this point, he is just not the type of receiver who should be relied upon to bring the ball down through tight coverage. He often limits his own catch radius by not extending his arms. His hands are also weak at the catch point. Due to his speed, he can sometimes break on routes a bit prematurely. However, that can be cleaned up and, in some ways, is a good problem to have.
Of course, the biggest part of Metchie’s evaluation is his health. After suffering a torn ACL in December, he could miss all of his rookie season. This will almost certainly cause a fall in his draft stock among NFL teams. Personally, I have him ranked as a second rounder based purely on his film. While he is tremendously talented, it will take a little more work to reach his full potential than it would for other big-time wideout prospects. His best fit will come in an offense that will deploy him in the slot and give him the ability to work in space while also taking shots at him down the field.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders instantly come to mind as teams that could benefit from Metchie’s services. He’d be good value in the second round, and a steal if he made it to the third.
*Top Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports