2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: John Metchieby Charlie Parent January 24, 2022 3 comments
It’s been a rollercoaster of a career for Alabama’s John Metchie. As Mac Jones‘ third option in the Tide’s historic 2020 national title run, Metchie wracked up 55 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns. Naturally, everyone thought Metchie would be the next DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle coming into this season, but it hasn’t quite panned out that way. Instead, Metchie has been overshadowed by transfer Jameson Williams and has slightly seen his stock drop.
This doesn’t mean Metchie isn’t producing or doesn’t have talent, though. This season he’s actually upped his production, catching 90 balls for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns at the end of the regular season. However, coming off an ACL tear in 2021, Metchie’s stock is in jeopardy. So let’s see where he’ll fall.
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Name: John Metchie
Jersey: No. 8
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 195 lbs
Games Watched: Auburn (2021), Miami (2021), Florida (2021), Ole Miss (2020)
Major Injury History: ACL tear (2021)
This season, a big issue in Alabama’s offense has been drops, and Metchie has played a part in this. Almost everyone on this offense has drop issues, Metchie’s aren’t horrible, but they’re certainly there. He doesn’t fumble much; at least he hasn’t in his entire career. Obviously, though, for a guy who’s probably sitting at the Day 2 ranks of the draft, Metchie will need to have better hands for the time he has left in his career.
Contested Catch (7/10)
Let’s get this straight. Metchie is not the type of receiver who will go up and get the ball. However, even with the drops, we’ve seen Metchie be able to make some nicely contested catches but sometimes on an inconsistent basis. In the Auburn game, he went back and forth with cornerback Roger McCreary, and there were a lot of reps where Metchi snagged the ball away from McCreary, or he got it knocked away. This is an interesting start for Metchie, but it does get a little better from here on out.
Like almost all Alabama receivers we’ve seen come out in the past few years, Metchie can track the football in really well. The knock here is that he doesn’t highpoint the ball much but can reel in both Jones’ and Bryce Young‘s long, looping passes. There are some very nice examples of Metchie twisting his body to make the catch, and this is a very solid area for him.
Route Running (8.75/10)
Another very high potential trait for Metchie but one where he has had some inconsistencies. Against Auburn, his route running was absurd, and his game-winning whip route in the red zone went viral for how crisp it was. Then, however, we have the Florida game where potential top corner Kaiir Elam destroyed him. Looking past that, though, Metchie is really well defined in the short and intermediate areas and has the potential to be super smooth and develop this aspect of his game into the thing he’s known for in the NFL.
Inconsistencies on inconsistencies. We mentioned when Metchie went up against Elam, and it was just not good. Then there are other games like Miami and even blips in the Tennessee matchup where he couldn’t stop getting open. Metchie won’t win with strength and at the next level, definitely not speed. It will all come from route running and release here. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and Metchie has the potential to be good here, but the inconsistencies keep the grade a little lower than some might expect.
Metchie’s release is pretty impressive. If the corner is late to jam for any reason, then the rep is basically a victory for Metchie because he can shove right off and get going, normally into an intermediate route. He’s got nice hands off the line and does do well to avoid getting jammed, mostly by weaker corners. A corner with more length and/or strength will be able to jam him up a bit more, but all in all, this is a very good area for Metchie.
Run After Catch (8/10)
We keep comparing Metchie to his former teammates, and here we can do it again. Metchie is no Waddle in the RAC game, not even a Smith either, but he can get it done in this aspect. Nick Saban has used him in a multitude of screens, including swings and smokes that allow him to demonstrate his true RAC ability. Here, we again have another solid trait for Metchie but nothing absurdly good.
Vertical Speed (8/10)
This is just becoming a theme. We have a trait that Metchie is good but not great at. Metchie is capable of stretching the field, sure, but he’s not that burner that some teams might want. Again, he’s going to win with route running and quick twitches at the next level. We’ll get into burst shortly, but right now, Metchie isn’t just going to fly past the corner.
Metchie has a good and underrated burst. Off the line, it’s evident, and he can really explode out of his stance. It can catch you off guard and does so for the opposing corner as well. This burst is what carries Metchie’s athleticism for the most part, and it’s something he can win with in the NFL.
Look, Metchie has athleticism that will allow him to last in the NFL, but it’s not something that blows you away. He should put up decent combine numbers if he was participating, probably seeing a 40-time around the 4.40 mark. Jumping ability is there as well, but it will be tough with no combine due to the ACL.
For a guy with Metchie’s frame, you wouldn’t really expect him to be a good blocker, but my goodness, he is great. You can run back the Ole Miss (2020) game and not even look at a single route he ran and still be mesmerized by the game Metchie had. He can lead block on the outside and takes his blocks with real passion. Metchie might be a very good receiver, but blocking is his best attribute.
Nick Saban likes using his receivers all over the field, but it was Slade Bolden who filled out the slot role most, not giving Metchie too many reps there. Metchie will be an outside receiver in the NFL, and we’ve seen some good usage all over. Out of Alabama’s famous bunch formations, Metchie has been a production monster. He always knows what he should be doing to space the field wherever he is.
A player that once had all the hype in the college football world, we didn’t see that amazing of a season from Metchie. Looking at the film, though, there’s definitely a solid NFL player in there. With how deep this receiver class is and the injury, it will be very interesting to see where Metchie lands and if he can get going at all in his rookie year.
Rookie Projection: Most of the Year on PUP
Third-Year Projection: Potentially Receiving Starting Reps
Final Grade (81.5/100): Late Second-Round
Pro Comparison: Justin Jefferson
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