Late in the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Zach Mettenberger went down with an apparent knee injury that left the LSU Tigers in the hands of freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings. Mettenberger wasn’t able to come back into the game on Saturday and it now appears that the injury was just about as bad as it could be as the LSU senior was diagnosed with a torn ACL. With his college career officially ended, Mettenberger must now focus on limiting the damage to his NFL draft stock.
Coming into the year, Mettenberger was pretty far off the NFL radar as his performance up to the 2013 season had been sporadic at best. But a strong senior season had done wonders for the senior’s draft stock as new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron unlocked the potential of the strong-armed Mettenberger as he enjoyed a career year under center. He finished the year with 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns with just eight interceptions while completing 64.9 percent of his passes.
Draft scouts had come around on Mettenberger and graded him out to be a mid-first round pick in the 2014 draft. Tearing his ACL just six months before the draft will be a major hurdle for him to overcome as he will be forced to sit out all workouts, including the combine, as he recovers from the knee injury. He will have to convince a team to take a chance on him next season without the benefit of showing he is physically capable of handling the rigors of the NFL. With the injury happening so late in the season, it will be tough for Mettenberger to get onto the active roster at all next season.
After the incredible senior season that shot Mettenberger up the draft boards this year, suffering a torn ACL in the regular season finale is a crushing blow to his draft stock. Will his body of work this season convince a team to take a shot on him next spring in the NFL draft even if he’s physically unable to contribute right away?