4. John Metchie, Alabama
The Crimson Tide have been churning out first-round draft picks at wide receiver like it’s nothing for a long time but at an incredible rate over the past two seasons. Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III went in the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft and they were followed by another pair going in Round 1, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, this past year. And yet, the talent pool is far from dry among pass-catchers in Tuscaloosa.
Though there are a number of young, highly gifted receivers on the Alabama roster, John Metchie is the veteran and the assumed next man up as the top target in the passing offense. With young Bryce Young taking over at quarterback, it’s not hard to imagine the rising junior wide receiver being the safety blanket and big-play threat that the sophomore signal-caller relies heavily on.
In his sophomore season, Metchie was forced into a bigger role with Waddle breaking his ankle and he delivered. While he was clearly the second fiddle to Smith amid his Heisman-winning season, Metchie still racked up 55 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns over 13 games with the Crimson Tide.
While Young is still a bit of an unknown commodity, the talent of the quarterback is unbelievable. If he’s able to find his footing quickly, Metchie has the opportunity to put up some truly monstrous numbers. It won’t be on the level of Smith but that’s a high bar to clear. Metchie’s combination of talent and role in the offense makes him a lock in the top five at the position.