Will the Texans have John Metchie III against the Colts in the season opener?
With the 44th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected a Canadian wide receiver from the University of Alabama, John Metchie III. We know Alabama for producing some of the best NFL players we have ever seen.
The Crimson Tide have had elite receivers such as Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and one of the best receivers to play the game, Julio Jones, be drafted from their school.
We know Alabama head coach Nick Saban can build up talented players for success in the NFL, but is Metchie the next big name to join the coveted list of Alabama wide receivers?
Last December, Metchie suffered a non-contact ACL tear that damaged his draft stock dramatically. Before his injury, Metchie was the number-one receiver once his teammate and fellow rookie, Jameson Williams, went down with an injury.
Metchie had a dominant outing against Auburn — where he had 13 receptions for 150 yards — and before that he had 10 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas, both being SEC games, as the Alabama wide receiver began to show his talent near the end of the season.
Because of the injury and his draft stock falling, but that allowed the Texans to trade up and select him in the second round.
Texans: How good can John Metchie III be in the NFL?
Metchie is an absolute technician with the ball. His route running was one of the best coming out of the draft, and his footwork is mind-blowing. Where he lacks in size, he more than makes up in aggressiveness and speed to get downfield. His elusiveness is a sight Texans fans will enjoy every Sunday.
The only concern we have is Metchie’s ACL tear, and when will he be able to play?
Dr. Lyle Cain, Alabama’s team physician, had this to say about John Metchie’s progress from his Torn-ACL, with a comment from the Houston Chronicle:
"“He’s beating every timetable we normally have, and if he continues along that schedule in his recovery in Houston, he has a good chance to be ready to play week one.”"
The news of Metchie potentially returning for Week 1 is massive for Houston. The likelihood of Metchie being inserted into the offense immediately and having an immediate impact may be in question.
Still, it is fantastic that he could be on the field in the season opener against the Colts. Though I don’t expect Metchie to be 100-percent to start the season, once he steps on the field, fans will see why Texans general manager Nick Caserio traded up to snag Metchie.
His talent, potential, and fit with the Texans is near perfect. He will slide right into the Z receiver or slot receiving role as Brandin Cooks will be the speedy X receiver and downfield threat, while Nico Collins will be the physical Y receiver for Texans quarterback Davis Mills.
If Metchie starts Week 1 and stays on the field, his projection can be impressive. Metchie can have a 500-to-550 receiving yard season, as this would be huge for a rookie receiver coming off a severe ACL injury.
Metchie is unique, so Texans fans, don’t be upset if he may take more time to be at full strength, because once he’s ready to go, he will be the perfect fit in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s system.