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When will WR prospect John Metchie be able to play?

After tearing his ACL during the College Football Playoff, John Metchie will probably have to wait considerably longer to hear his name called during the 2022 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A 5-foot-11, 187-pound wide receiver, Alabama’s John Metchie comes off back-to-back productive seasons. Serving as the understudy to DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle in 2021, caught 55 passes for 916 yards and six scores. He improved on those numbers the following year, hauling in 96 balls for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. While not as physically gifted as some of the other recent exports from the Crimson Tide receiver factory, Metchie still has plenty to offer NFL teams.

Injury details

During the College Football Playoff semifinal, Metchie tore his left ACL. The injury came one game before teammate and fellow starting wide receiver Jameson Williams also suffered a torn ACL, reducing the Alabama receiving corps to mostly inexperienced pass catchers during the most important game of the season.

Timetable for return

While not considered a problematic injury in the long term, Metchie’s torn ACL and subsequent recovery could keep him out for a sizable portion of his rookie season. Like Williams, he could potentially receive medical clearance in September. However, a rookie wideout with no on-field work in the NFL will have a hard time jumping right into game action without getting some practice under his belt. And that, of course, assumes Metchie doesn’t suffer a setback.

Will it impact draft slot?

Metchie probably would not have gone in the first round before the injury, but now he could feasibly wait until the end of Day 2 or even Day 3 to hear his name called. That represents a humongous drop-off for such a productive college receiver.