Alabama WR John Metchie seems perfect match to Cowboys needs, affinity for 2nd-round gambles

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The Dallas Cowboys could very well be in the market for wide receiver thanks to this offseason’s free-agency period. The trade of Amari Cooper and departure of Cedrick Wilson left holes in the depth chart. Alabama wide receiver, John Methcie could potentially fill that divot. In a deep receiver room in his freshman year (2019), Metchie still found the field, playing in all 13 games. He expanded on that role in 2020 almost reaching 1,000 yards. His peak form was in his junior year where he tallied 1,100 yards and added eight touchdowns.

Metchie had no problem cracking the rotation in a crowded and deep receiver room in Alabama, and he saw his role increase each year. In 2021 he began the year as WR1 for the Crimson Tide prior to the emergence of Jameson Williams, and his numbers increased yet again. Unfortunately Metchie was injured in the SEC title game win over Georgia, tearing his ACL and ending his season. He wasn’t able to work out for NFL teams but attended the combine to interview. According to the prospect himself, he plans to be available for June minicamps.

Measurables and Stats

Listed Height: 5-foot-11

Listed Weight: 187 pounds

Jersey Number: 8

Stats (2021): 96 catches, 1,142 yards, 8 touchdowns

Rushing Stats (2021): 1 rush, 13 yards

Film Study Information:

Games Watched: Texas A&M (2020), LSU (2021), Auburn (2021), Georgia (2021)

Best Game: Texas A&M (2020)

Worst Game: Georgia (2021)

Physical Skills Evaluation:

Route Running: Adapt at hand battling during the stem of the route. Has sharp cuts on slant routes. Sells double moves well. Works back to the QB on broken plays. Has designed option routes, and reads the defensive backs well to maximize his ability to make the catch. Pushes defensive backs on their heels before making his break.

Blocking: Gives effort when run blocking, does a good job of staying between the defender and ball carrier.

Contested Catch Ability: Don’t see many contested catches from his game, can go up and extend his hands away from his frame and I question his ability to fight through contact at the catch point.

Beating Press: Adapt at speed releases and stutter releases, doesn’t display a wide range of releases; will need to add more to his toolbox.

Long Speed: Has the long speed to separate vertically. Has rumored 4.36 speed, and it was no concern on his tape.

Performance Evaluation:

Separation: Isn’t a fantastic separator, but he is more than adapt. Able to gain separation quickly and maintain the separation.

Ball Skills: Has reliable hands, won’t see many drops from him. Extends hands away from his frame well.

YAC Ability: Isn’t a dynamic yards after the catch threat, but capable of making one man miss and gaining a few yards.

Ball Tracking: Tracks the ball well, will extend his hands away from his frame, track the ball over the shoulder.

Versatility: Not used as a gadget player, won’t see him on reverses or anything like that. However, is capable of lining up in the slot or outside.

Strengths:

Sells double moves at a high level and has flashes of sharp cuts and being an above average route runner. Adequate blocker, and is a fantastic ball tracker. He is able to track throws through contact and balls thrown over his shoulder. Can separate vertically with long speed, and is adequate at hand battling throughout the stem of the route.

Weaknesses:

Don’t see many contested catches out of his game, but he is able to extend his hands. Isn’t the best separator during the stem of the route, but he can usually gain separation near the line of scrimmage and maintain it. Isn’t a dynamic yards after the catch threat and needs to add more releases to his toolbox.

Fit with the Cowboys:

With the Cooper departure, another wide receiver isn’t out of the question in the draft for the Cowboys. Metchie would be expected to step into an integral role right away, or at least once fully healthy. That’s the biggest question mark. Can Dallas add Metchie as their primary WR addition when also waiting on Michael Gallup to return from his ACL injury?

Metchie is a phenomenal ball tracker and can gain separation off the line of scrimmage. He struggles to gain significant yards after the catch. He also isn’t the best in contested catch situations, being in a receiver room with Michael Gallup who is a contested catch extraordinaire and CeeDee Lamb who has a wide range of releases in his tool box, might be the best thing for him. Metchie is capable of lining up in the slot or as the Z receiver.

Prospect Grade:

Route Running (15)

12

Beating Press (10)

8.5

Blocking (5)

2.5

YAC Ability (10)

7

Contested Catch Ability (10)

7

Ball Tracking (10)

9.25

Separation (10)

8.25

Long Speed (10)

8.5

Ball Skills (10)

9

Versatility (10)

8

Final Grade:

80, 2nd round player

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