The New England Patriots should be looking to add a new top-end target for Mac Jones this offseason.
How about one with whom he’s already found on-field success?
John Metchie was one of Jones’ top wide receivers during the latter’s final season at Alabama, catching 55 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns as the Crimson Tide cruised to the 2020 national title. As Jones went on to New England, Metchie elevated his game in 2021, posting a 96-1,142-8 line before tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game.
Now an NFL draft prospect, Metchie smiled Wednesday when asked about a potential reunion with his former college quarterback.
“Mac and I are really close,” Metchie told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, via NBC Sports Boston. “He was my quarterback that year, so Mac and I got along really well. We spent a lot of time together my freshman year on the (second) team and stuff like that, so we have a lot of chemistry back there.”
Other teams recently have sought to reconnect highly drafted QB with familiar targets from their college days. The Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins both did so in the first round of last year’s draft, selecting LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle to pair with Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, respectively.
Both wideouts enjoyed strong debut seasons, with Chase winning Offensive Rookie of the Year and Waddle ranking eighth in the league in receptions (104).
“It’s definitely something I’ve heard, and especially seeing the trend of teams liking to unite quarterbacks and receivers or just former teammates together,” Metchie told reporters. “I think Mac-10 and I would be special together, for sure.”
Metchie won’t be drafted as early as Chase (fifth overall) or Waddle (sixth) were in 2021. He’s more likely to come off the board on Day 2, and his injury — which will prevent him from participating in drills at this week’s combine — could hurt his stock. He said he expects to be medically cleared with no restrictions by June, however, and could be an option for New England as it looks to bolster its receiving corps.
Metchie said he sat down for a combine interview with the Patriots, who have drafted six Alabama products in the last seven years and three in the last two.
“My meeting with the Patriots went really well,” he said. “We talked about Mac Jones, of course, (2021 second-round pick) Christian Barmore. They have a little group of Bama guys. The Patriots are really similar to Alabama as far as structure of team with Coach (Bill) Belichick over there and Coach (Nick) Saban at Alabama, so it was a good interview.”
Fellow Alabama receivers Jameson Williams and Slade Bolden also met with the Patriots in Indianapolis. Williams is a potential first-round prospect, though he also is recovering from a torn ACL. Bolden is projected as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.