John Metchie Draft Profile
Coming into this season, I fully anticipated Alabama WR John Metchie to be the number one receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. While I don’t believe he is the number one receiver in the draft, he is still a really good receiver who will make an impact as soon as he gets into the league. He learned from the Alabama tutelage: Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jameson Williams, and the list goes on. He knows how to play like a pro and lined up against NFL cornerbacks in practice every day. He is a smart player but was never the true number one wideout for the Roll Tide. In the NFL, I project him to be a number two or three receivers that is consistent and a reliable weapon for his quarterback.
It is rare to see a player coming out of college that seems like he has played in the NFL already. Metchie is a smart receiver that understands how to attack DBs and how to gain leverage. When he’s running an in-breaking route against a defensive back with inside leverage, he knows how to square him up and get him guessing. For timing plays that rely on rubs and double moves, Metchie knows how to run his routes at a proper pace. At the top of his routes, there are no wasted motions or false steps. He is a precise route runner that punishes undisciplined defensive backs. Against press coverage, Metchie gives shifty releases that get DBs reaching. He is a tough receiver that will take a big hit and deliver crucial blocks. At the top of his routes, he also shows off his physicality with clean mini push-offs. He provides offenses with position versatility; he is a guy that can line up both in the slot and outside. When he is lined up in the slot, he is great at running option routes and sells the fake with his head movement. While Metchie isn’t considered a “burner”, his acceleration is phenomenal after one plant in the ground. Once he makes that first cut, Metchie is flying and corners have a hard time staying with him. As I mentioned earlier, I anticipate Metchie being an instant impact receiver that quarterbacks can rely on in the most needed moments.
Similar to his former teammate, Jameson Williams, John Metchie’s biggest concern is the injury that he suffered at the end of his final season. Metchie tore his ACL in December during the SEC championship game against Georgia. While I read that he is on track to be ready by training camp, this could scare a few teams off of him. My biggest concern on the field are his hands and his drops. Metchie has a negative habit of letting the football come to his body and trying to “body catch” it. This causes a handful of drops and missed opportunities. Metchie will need to become best friends with jugs machine once he gets into the league. Once Metchie catches the ball, sometimes he will play around too much. Instead of turning upfield, he goes side-to-side a lot trying to make people miss. While sometimes it results in nasty jukes that get defenders out of their shoes, other times it will leave yards on the field. I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing that Metchie is trying to juke everybody out of their shoes, I just think he needs to be more decisive with it. If Metchie’s hands become more consistent and post-catch moves become more intentional, Metchie is going to be a receiver that lasts a long time in this league.
I really like John Metchie and believe he’s a player that could last a decade in the NFL. I see teams using him as a slot receiver on third down and on the perimeter on first and second. He reminds me of Giants wide receiver, Sterling Shepard, and I believe the Bills, Patriots, and Cardinals are all good fits for the Alabama receiver. I have a third-round grade on him, but I could see him falling to the early fourth round due to injury concerns. John Metchie should be a guy that you get familiar with because he’s either going to be playing for your favorite team for a decade or torching your favorite team for a decade.
Ability to Separate: 8.5/10
Release/Top of Routes: 7.75/8
Route Running: 7.5/8
Contested Catch: 5.5/8
Hands + Catch Radius: 5.25/8
Speed + Control: 5.75/7
Natural Talent: 3.7/5
Final Rating: 81
Pro Comparison: Sterling Shepard
Team Fits: Bills, Patriots, Cardinals
Draft Grade: Third-Round Pick
Draft Projection: Third - Fourth Round Pick