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2020 NFL Draft Profile: What Michigan safety Josh Metellus brings to Minnesota

Metellus is a confident player and hard hitter hoping to find an NFL home for the long haul.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michigan safety Josh Metellus made his presence known and felt as a member of the maize and blue, amassing 171 total tackles from 2017 to 2019. A self proclaimed trash talker who claims he’s “not going to be scared” to go up against “guys like Julio Jones”, Metellus hopes to hear his name called during the NFL Draft.

Info

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 209 pounds

School: Michigan

Position: Safety

Projected: 6th-7th round

Combine Results: 4.55 40-yard dash, 36.5 vertical jump, 124.0 broad jump, 20 bench press reps, 6.94 3 Cone Drill, 4.4 20-yard shuttle

Player Comparison: Chuck Clark

What he brings to the Vikings

This is a great fit for Metellus and he goes to a coach in Mike Zimmer and defensive staff that will know how to use him. Given Zimmer’s experience developing players in the secondary and he might have a ceiling as a subpackage player in that system, but this is a nice special teams addition for Minnesota.

Strengths

  • Fares well flying downhill in run support
  • Can be impactful blitzing off the edge
  • Hard hitter and finishes tackles well when he plays with an aggressive mindset
  • Plays his best in zone coverage
  • Good combine numbers across the board

Weaknesses

  • Caught flat-footed too often. Even when he sees the ball-carrier Metellus has a tendency to wait for the contact to come to him instead of gaining momentum downhill and tackling the ball carrier before he gains steam. This tentativeness leads to extra and unnecessary yards, both after contact and Metellus left in a position where he gets burnt to the edge in a foot race.
  • Gave up big plays in coverage vs. Ohio State (twice) and Alabama
  • Man coverage is not his strong suit and will lose to fast wideouts one-on-one.
  • Not instinctual enough to play “freelance” at safety and break off his assignment and jump routes.

Overview

Metellus projects as a late-round developmental player that will receive a look on special teams with hopes that his coverage skills improve. The weaknesses to his game may not be improved upon in any sizable way to warrant him ever becoming an NFL starter. Metellus’ willingness to hit with thump, and his passion for the game will serve him well but he has a long way to go as a prospect.