PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: John Metchie III, WR Alabama

2022 Rookie Spotlight: John Metchie, WR Alabama
Height: 5-11Weight: 187
Hands: 9 1/4″
Arm: 30 5/8″
40 yard dash: N/A
NFL Comparison: Robert Woods

College Production (Final Season)
25% team receptions
23% team receiving yards
16% team receiving TDs

Breakout Age: 20

– was productive at Alabama despite presence of elite teammates through every season
– not overly agile, or overly physical, but still just seems to finds ways to separate 
– good after-catch with the ball in his hands
– ability to track and frame the ball like a pro, even though not a natural hands-catcher
– has shown the ability to win deep, even against good opponents like Georgia
– widely thought of as one of the best run-blocking WRs in college football in 2021
– just a good all-around football player, playing against the top competition in college

– even when healthy, lacks any one true elite attribute to his game
– was injured at the tail-end of the 2021 college football season (torn ACL)
– has medical history dating back to high school (enlarged heart) 
– will never know his true testing numbers
– tendency to let the ball into his body too often
– slighter frame than you’d like out of a true NFL alpha

Scouting Notes: Metchie was born in Taiwan, raised in Ghana, and moved to Canada at age 7, where he stayed until he was 14 until going off to high school in Maryland. The youngest of three brothers, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart but was cleared by docs to play ball and it has apparently not been an issue since. Watching Metchie play in the 2021 showed two main things: 1) he was capable of being a truly key piece in a prolific Bama offense once it was his turn (along with Jameson Williams) to finally truly step into the limelight; and 2) he did so without any one truly elite characteristic (speed, explosion, burst, agility, etc.) coming to the forefront as emblematic of his game, the way such traits become with the evaluations of so many others, ie Treylon Burks (physicality), Chris Olave (smoothness), Garrett Wilson (hands and twitch), Jahan Dotson (agility), etc. That is not to say Metchie is not a good football player. In fact, it may be as good an attribute as any to simply say the guy is clearly good at the game. Alabama wanted the ball in his hands, and per PFF, it did so by utilizing the screen game where Metchie was the 4th-most targeted WR in CFB during 2021 on screen passes (33) as his number of forced missed tackles from 2020 (5) to 2021 (20) went to show immense growth as a weapon in the open field after-catch.

Fantasy Outlook: Teams are going to like Metchie because he comes from an Alabama program where he’s had exposure to the route-running concepts and general program-setting that the NFL favors. They’ll likely see him as a slot WR who runs good routes, is, by all accounts, an excellent teammate and locker room presence, and looks pro-ready in many ways. The questions will be about his health and whether his play style is already maxed out. It’s a combination that could end up sticking him with Day 2 draft capital, in which case, he’ll be squarely in consideration by the middle of the second round in traditional 1QB, 12-team dynasty rookie drafts. He’s a player who has the potential to come in and be effective immediately, but has a lower ceiling than some of his more dynamic classmates for 2022.

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