There’s one thing you can count on every offseason, and that’s Alabama wide receivers starting early in the season. nfl draft. The Crimson Tide basically has a patent on professional receivers and has another talented duo in Jameson Williams and John Metchie III this year. Unfortunately, both receivers suffered ACL tears late in the 2021 season, throwing their actions into uncertainty. But there’s good news for Metchie, who quietly remains a first-round candidate at WR.
John Metchie III’s 2021 season at Alabama
In 2020, Metchie caught 55 passes for 916 yards and 6 touchdowns while sharing targets with first-round picks DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. His impressive sophomore production earned him early notoriety on the 2022 NFL Draft circuit. Prior to 2021, Metchie was listed as one of the best receivers in the class.
Even as his star was outshone by his new teammate Williams, Metchie remained a constant threat in the Crimson Tide’s offense. He played in every game up to the conference championship, racking up 96 catches for 1,142 yards and 8 touchdowns.
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Metchie was on his way to being a vital weapon in the college football playoff, but a torn ACL suffered in the conference championship game against Georgia sidelined him and put a cloud over his draft stock.
We haven’t heard much from Metchie since, but the Alabama WR testified despite questions about his ACL. And now, as the NFL Draft slowly approaches, we have a new update from Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Draft Analyst, Tony Pauline. Pauline sat down with Cody Roark on Thursday’s segment of Among the Axes and provided information on Metchie’s rehabilitation status.
Metchie is expected to make a speedy recovery after ACL tear
On Thursday’s segment of Between the Hashes, Roark asked Pauline about Metchie’s condition following his torn ACL. Here’s what Pauline had to say regarding Metchie’s recovery and how far along it is as of January.
“I have been told that so far everything is fine. It was a clean tear. Looks like it’s going to be a quick rehab. There should be no problem with that. And I was told that it will probably be gone a little sooner than people think. I don’t know if he’s going to get into the first round, but I think he could be off the board early in Round 2.
“I mean, again, a receiver who checks a lot of boxes, he’s probably more complete than, say, Jaylen Waddle a year ago, with his receiving skills, although obviously not as fast,” Pauline said. “She doesn’t have the big burst that Jaylen Waddle has, although she does it very well. But right now, what I’m hearing about Metchie is that it wasn’t a bad tear. You’re always looking, you know, was it a clean tear? Wasn’t that a clean tear? That will project how long the rehabilitation takes. They told me you’re getting thumbs up. It’s going to be a quick recovery and it’s going to hit a little higher than people expect.”
This is great news for Metchie, who was seen as a potential top-10 receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft when he was healthy. Tears that aren’t clean can complicate the recovery process, but since he’s clean, there’s a good chance Metchie will make a full recovery and be ready sometime in 2022.
Is Metchie worth a Round 2 pick as a prospect?
When he was healthy, Metchie wasn’t as dominant as Smith and Waddle. But he still passed the vision test as a worthy catcher prospect. That was clear from the start to many analysts, including PFN’s NFL Draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson. Hodgkinson wrote Metchie’s scouting report and had this to say about the Alabama WR.
“Metchie is a real speed threat at wide receiver. You can move quickly and once opened there is very little chance of being caught. His speed gives him the ability to create and maintain separation on all three levels of the field.
“In addition to his speed, Metchie displays impressive route-running ability,” Hodgkinson wrote. “He exhibits quick football work and an excellent change of direction, allowing him to simulate coverage, allowing for even greater separation. But Metchie isn’t just a threat on the field; he is equally adept at crossing the middle on incline routes. Finally, his ability to cradle an overhand catch is a wonder to behold.”
As long as he’s healthy, Metchie is a dynamic, all-around receiver with plenty of NFL-level playmaking potential. And according to Pauline, he’s on the right track with his recovery.
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John Metchie III on his way to a quick recovery, could go as high as Round 2