2022 NFL Draft Rookie Profile: John Metchie III (Fantasy Football)
John Metchie III did not have the end to the college career he had envisioned. Instead of catching a TD in the National Championship game and fighting for a win with his Alabama teammates, he was on the sideline recovering from a season-ending injury. In the 2nd quarter of the SEC championship against Georgia, Metchie went down with a torn ACL via a non-contact injury. Although the ending to his tenure at Alabama left much to be desired, Metchie can look back on his college career with pride. In early 2022 he left his last year of eligibility at Alabama to declare for the NFL draft. Let’s look at Metchie’s college production and game tape and see if we can project his 2022 fantasy outlook.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Rookie Profile series going on until the 2022 NFL Draft. For more on each rookie, check out Andy, Mike, and Jason’s exclusive rookie rankings and production profiles found only in the Dynasty Pass, part of the UDK+ for 2022.
College Production Chart
In a school full of elite WR talents, it was not until Metchie’s sophomore season that he started to make a splash. Stepping in for an injured Jaylon Waddle, Metchie clocked impressive numbers and helped lead the Crimson Tide to their National Championship in early 2021. His last year in college, he shared the field with the equally remarkable Jameson Williams.
|Games||Receptions||Yds||Avg Yds/Game||Avg Yds/Rec||Rec TDs|
Metchie did not participate in the drills portion of the combine due to his ACL recovery, but when healthy, he has posted a time of 4.36 in the 40.
|Height||Weight||Hand Size||247 Sports||Arms|
|5’11”||187||9 1/4||4-star recruit||30 5/8|
What’s on Tape
Georgia (2021), Auburn (2021), Tennessee (2021), Florida (2020), Mississippi St. (2021)
1. Overall Athleticism & Route Running
The first thing you notice watching Metchie play is he is a solid overall athlete. His crisp routes have a great speed variation, and he can quickly change directions, causing defenders to miss. His route running is smooth, seamless, and rarely looks forced. He is not the fastest on the field, but he can burst off the line effectively. Metchie will rarely be your big-play guy, but he can do a lot of damage with short to intermediate routes. Looking at Metchie’s overall career at Alabama, you can see his improvement with every year played. His reception percentage, targets, receiving yards, TDs, and YAC all improved each year. He may not have that specific wow factor, but he does not have any gaping holes in his game.
Alabama takes the lead 🔴⚪️
John Metchie makes the grab for 6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2021
One of the key places WRs make their money is in yards after the catch, and Metchie is fantastic here. According to PFF, in his last season at Bama, he logged 620 yards after the catch, the 4th best in that category that season. And he is reliable at catching those balls that get him the extra yards as well – the man caught 75% of his targets in 2021.
— Alabama Rydeouts (@MarvinBama16) October 20, 2021
3. Lack of size
Despite being listed at 5’11”, something about John Metchie comes across as small. Perhaps it’s the fact that he never really seems to go up high for many contested catches. According to PFF, Metchie had 16 contested targets come his way in 2021, catching 56% of them. He just looks smaller than he actually is when you watch him play.
Metchie can have a case of the drops. We rarely see him fully extend his arms to pull in a catch, which has led to dropped balls. In his last collegiate year, he dropped eight on-target passes. Even though that is the most he dropped a year at Alabama, his percentage of dropped passes did decrease throughout his tenure. In his final year, he dropped 8.2% of on-target passes. He will have to clean that up and figure out how to better extend for his catches if he hopes to find solid success in the NFL.
What’s Not on Tape
Metchie’s season-ending injury must be addressed when scouting him. Although his physical therapists and trainers have spoken of him with the highest praise, he did undergo what can be a career-shifting injury. Tyler Opitz, Metchie’s physical therapist at the Andrews Institute, stands behind Metchie’s assertion that he will be ready for training camp. “The biggest thing for John is that he’s not just ahead of schedule, but he’s pain-free, which has allowed us to do things a lot earlier,” Opitz said. “Things like heavier weights, strength training, and building muscle back faster.” At the combine, Metchie told reporters he believes to be cleared to play by June.
Coming from the Alabama system, you know Metchie embraces the concept of never giving up on a play. His overall football knowledge and mentality to do whatever it takes – clearly on display in a game against Florida where he punched out a ball after a Gator interception – make him a solid WR for whoever calls his name on draft day.
JOHN METCHIE DOESN’T PLAY GAMES
— PFF (@PFF) December 20, 2020
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Metchie’s injury should give him a little bit of a discount come draft day. He is currently slated as the 16th WR off the board, being drafted in the 3rd round, according to grindingthemocks.com. In comparison, his Alabama cohort Jameson Williams (also rehabbing an injury) is thought to be the 4th WR taken according to the same site, going in the 1st round. WRs also looking to come off the board before Metchie include Garrett Wilson, Treylon Burks, and Chris Olave to name a few, and they all have similar stat lines to Metchie in 2021. If Metchie drops, he is considerably worth the value, being an experienced college athlete from one of the greatest systems. He would be a great fit in New England, reuniting with college QB Mac Jones and adding a much-needed pass catcher. Speaking of needing pass catchers, the Green Bay Packers are low on them currently, and if they couple Metchie with a deep threat receiver, he could find a nice home there with success catching balls from Aaron Rodgers. When it comes to fantasy redraft leagues, you should also be looking for that discount. Unseasoned managers might want nothing to do with him and his ACL, allowing him to drop. Scoop him up, hope for a solid landing spot, and wait for him to earn his keep.