In a shocking development, the New England Patriots are taking a long, hard look at a product of Nick Saban’s football factory.
According to Jordan Schultz, the Patriots are bringing in former Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III for a top-30 visit. News of his visit comes after reports that the Patriots would be meeting with three Arizona State defenders this week in Arizona.
Metchie is a 6-foot-0, 187 pound wide receiver prospect who projects to be used as a slot/Z-receiver hybrid at the next level. He spent three seasons at Alabama, where he played in 30 total games. Metchie came on strong as a sophomore, quickly gelling with quarterback Mac Jones, reeling in 55 receptions for a total of 916 yards and six touchdowns. He improved on that sophomore campaign with a monster junior season where he caught 96 balls for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns, before tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship game, bringing an end to his season.
Metchie is said to be ahead of schedule in his rehab from knee surgery, hoping to be cleared by June to take part in minicamp workouts. Prior to his ACL injury, many believed him to be worthy of a first round selection, but since the injury he’s found himself firmly in the day two conversation.
A top-30 visit isn’t necessarily indicative of an intent on a team drafting a specific player, rather a chance for that team to gather more information and look to build a relationship in a more intimate setting than that of the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine.
Given Bill Belichick’s strong relationship with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, and his affinity for drafting players from that program, it isn’t surprising to see the Patriots visit with Metchie for a second time. This time around the team should be able to focus on getting a feel for where Metchie really is in his rehab process. If all is right, they could reunite him with his former quarterback Mac Jones in New England.