When Houston traded up to acquire Cleveland’s second-round pick Friday night, NFL’s Peter Schrager wondered aloud on the NFL Network broadcast if the Texans might be taking the second quarterback of the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, Caserio and Co. selected Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III - a weapon to help support the growth of second-year quarterback Davis Mills.
The Texans traded their first third-round pick (#68) and two fourth-round picks (#108, #124) to acquire Metchie at No. 44 overall. Metchie joins a wide receiver room that includes Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Chris Moore, and Phillip Dorsett II.
Here’s what NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein has to say about Metchie.
NFL slot projection with good polish but a lack of noteworthy elements in his game. Metchie has decent size but average play speed. He’s proficient in more sophisticated routes but lacks explosiveness to separate and will have to prove he can become a more physical wideout to win contested catches at the pro level. He can play multiple receiver spots and has the ability to take what the scheme provides him. As long as his recovery from an ACL tear goes smoothly, Metchie has a chance to become a starting slot receiver with a relatively modest ceiling.
Metchie finished his career at Alabama with 155 receptions for 2,081 yards in three years as a Crimson Tide receiver. He scored 14 touchdowns and had an average of 13.4 yards/rec. over his career. Almost all of Metchie’s production came in his sophomore and junior years, as he only had 4 receptions for 23 yards in his freshman year while playing behind four future NFL players in Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Jerry Jeudy.
Metchie was part of the 2020 CFB championship team that Alabama fielded and contributed 8 receptions for 81 yards in the 52-24 victory over Ohio State.
Measurables And Notables
Standing at 5-11 and weighing in at 187 pounds, Metchie brings questions of size and durability to the NFL. Metchie was unable to participate in the NFL Combine or a pro day workout after he tore his ACL in the SEC Championship game against Georgia 146 days ago (Dec. 4, 2021).
His recovery looks to not impact his potential play in 2021, however, as Metchie commented at the NFL Combine that he expects to be cleared for play by July 2022. NFL training camps usually start in July, so if that timetable is accurate, Metchie would be available for training camp for the Texans ahead of the 2022 season.
Born to international parents (a Taiwanese mother and Nigerian father), Metchie lived in a variety of places growing up: Taiwan, Ghana, Canada, Maryland, and New Jersey. He played his high school football in the latter two locations at St. James High School and Peddie School (a college preparatory school).
Metchie joins a list of Crimson Tide receivers in recent years to be drafted as top selections, as five Alabama wideouts have been selected in the first round over the past three drafts (Ruggs, Jeudy, Smith, Waddle, Jameson Williams).
Metchie’s play at Alabama projects him as a slot receiver where he can showcase his solid speed, polished route running, and great hands. Matchie is not a body-catcher (shout out to Will Fuller), and instead almost always plucks the ball from the air.
With last year’s third-round draft selection Nico Collins and veteran Brandin Cooks lining up on the outside, Metchie gives the Texans a strong third option from the wide receiver spot who can grind out possession receptions and also provide vertical speed from an interior alignment. Davis Mills’ enthusiasm is getting higher and higher (through the roof, even) as the Texans continue to acquire weapons and protection through the 2022 NFL Draft.