John Metchie III - WR - Alabama
Welcome to the rookie profile for John Metchie III. Metchie has had to be patient in his college career having played behind current NFL stars such as Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Henry Ruggs III; this has taken away from his target share during his time at Alabama. A versatile receiver who can play in the Z and in the slot, his excellent speed can stretch the field. His fast and explosive playmaking abilities have further solidified his credentials as a first or second-round selection.
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 187 lbs
40-yard dash: DNP
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Metchie III was originally born in Taiwan before moving to Ghana shortly after. At the age of 6, his family made the move to Canada, where Metchie III is now a Canadian native. He fell in love with football whilst he was living in Canada and attended the famed St. James High School which is renowned for giving Canadian football players a chance to break into the American Football programs.
After an impressive four seasons at St. James High School, he amassed over 1,300 rushing yards, 2,500 reception yards, and 42 touchdowns. He established himself as a versatile wide receiver and was a four-star recruit out of high school. He received 20 offers where he opted for Alabama stating ‘An offer from the National Champions means a lot to me and it doesn’t get much more competitive than that’
Metchie III’s freshman year at Alabama was a little slow to get going as he was vying for playing time with a receiver corps room that included Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs as well as Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith. In his freshman season, he hauled in four catches for the year with 23 reception yards. Whilst the stat sheet is a little underwhelming what it does fail to show is how this provided him with a solid foundation to build on in his sophomore year. WOW did he make a splash.
In his sophomore year, I think it’s pretty fair to say that Metchie III made the most of his opportunity once Jaylen Waddle was ruled out for the season. Especially when you consider that before Waddle’s season-ending injury he only had 7 receptions to his name. However, Metchie III hauled in a further 48 receptions and totalled 916 receiving yards on the year and 6 touchdowns. After an impressive season, he was awarded the Jon Cornish Trophy for the outstanding Canadian athlete in NCAA football, with the title previously held by Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard.
In this past season, Metchie III has made the most of his first full season sharing the field with fellow draft prospect Jameson Williams. And once again, we saw his numbers go up another level. He had seen a big increase in receptions as he hauled in 96 targets for 1,142 yards and 8 touchdowns before an ACL tear in the SEC Championship win against Georgia – despite the injury he has still solidified his case to be a potential first or definitive second-rounder in this year’s draft. After a successful 2021 season, Metchie III was honored in the All-SEC Second Team.
I am a big fan of Metchie III’s versatility, size, and athleticism allowing him to play in various positions as we’ve seen during his time at Alabama. Playing in the slot and on the outside as well as improving his ability to win at all three levels of the field. Signal callers have various options at their disposal as he can get involved in the short passing game with jet sweeps, screens, slants and is just as effective downfield as his speed helps him create separation and there is very little chance of him being caught.
Metchie’s speed is a genuine asset for one of the best parts of his game, separation. His explosive burst of speed enables him to get separation and maintain it from opposing defenders. Not only is his burst of speed insane but he can put the foot on the brake just as well in and out of cuts which uncovers defenders with ease. He is excellent at getting into the face of defensive backs and then will create good separation at the top of his routes.
A tough player that will win many contested catches. His body control, strong hands and decent vertical help him come out on top more often than not. Combined with a competitive toughness that NFL coaches love. He’s a rugged player which helps him a lot when the ball is in his hands as he will lower the shoulder to try and gain extra yardage. A solid yards after catch player thanks to his toughness, speed, and good open-field moves.
He may not be the physical beast we witness with fellow draft prospect Treylon Burks, but he can dig in and more than hold his own as a blocking wide receiver. He may need to slightly improve his technique a little for the next stage of his career but as mentioned earlier, like Robert Woods he is solid enough to get it done and do what is asked of him.
An honorable mention for his ability to take in a catch over the shoulder, this really is special.
Metchie III could improve on using his hands a little bit better to bring in more of his targets, often you’ll see him taking the ball into his pads. Although he demonstrates good physicality when blocking downfield, his lack of physicality compared to others in the wide receiver position limits him a little more. At times he also struggled to hold on to the ball in contact situations. Yes, it’s a slight concern especially when you consider he’s not faced press coverage, something he’ll see a lot more of in the NFL. This is something that the off-season and a good NFL coach would be able to adjust.
He does have a rather light frame which will allow press cover corners in the NFL to bully him and push him around. This is something that won’t help all too much in contested catch situations as he will get bullied off the ball.
An ACL tear is something to monitor as this is an injury where players don’t always come back as the player that they were before. I personally think he’ll be just fine but medical staff in the NFL will be jotting down an asterisk over his profile as something to monitor. The good thing is (for Metchie at least, not for us fans) that it’s a long way off until the start of the 2022 season.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 2
Prior to the injury, Metchie was putting himself on the map as a first-round selection in this year’s draft. But, unfortunately, the ACL tear will more than likely see him selected in the second round. Should the injury not affect him too much then he’ll prove to be an absolute steal.
A team in need of strengthening their wide receiving core is the Colts as T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal’s contracts both will expire at the end of the season. Parris Campbell, whilst he is an exciting talent he has struggled with injuries, featuring only 15 times across three seasons for Indianapolis.
The Colts don’t have a first-round pick in the draft but they could pick up a first-round talent in John Metchie III. The Colts could pair an exciting and talented rookie with second-year pro Michael Pittman Jr. And although the Colts would have to be patient at first to get the full potential out of Metchie as he fully recovers from the ACL injury, they will have a long-term receiver who is a game-changer at all three levels.
Post Draft Analysis
Houston Texans- Round 2, Pick 44
After tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship game it may mean that we don’t see Metchie featured immediately. But when he returns he projects to be an instant starter for the Texans.
He’s a player who isn’t viewed by many as a player who will perform as an elite wide receiver. However, as an immediate starter, he’s well worth taking a punt on. I have Metchie projected as a WR3 with the upside to become a WR2, especially as the Texans are likely to be behind in a lot of games and will be required to throw the ball a lot more.
If anything, it’ll be a fun ride with Metchie.