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Sophomore Star: John Metchie III Ready to Break Out

The second year player is set to take the leap.

Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Somewhere along the line it seems the Houston Texans have gone from “Patriots South” to “Crimson Tide West”. Part of that movement was drafting phenom wide receiver John Metchie III in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Metchie cracked the Alabama starting lineup in 2020 and ended his three-year NCAA career with 155 catches, 2081 yards, a 13.8 yard per catch average and 14 touchdowns.

Drafted in May of ‘22, Metchie was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia a few short months later in July.

After making what seems like a miraculous comeback, Metchie appears ready to resume his promising career.

Joining veteran wideouts Noah Brown, Nico Collins and Robert Woods, Metchie will need to compete for catches with rookies Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson in the new Texans offense.

Having an insanely accurate passer in C.J. Stroud won’t hurt, that’s for sure.

Bleacher Report released a “2022 Draft Picks to Watch in 2023” post recently and, as you may have already guessed, Metchie was featured prominently on that list.

Bleacher Report

The Houston Texans have yet to get a real look at 2022 second-round pick John Metchie III. The former Alabama star suffered a torn ACL in the SEC Championship Game and then sat out his rookie year after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.

While Metchie is dealing with a soft-tissue injury, he is expected to make a full recovery by training camp, according to KPRC 2 Sports contributor Aaron Wilson. The Texans will be excited to see Metchie on the practice field.

“My expectations are high for him returning, whenever that is, and hitting the ground running,” receivers coach Ben McDaniels said, per Wilson.

Before his injury in the conference title game, Metchie was a legitimate star. He racked up 1,142 receiving yards and eight touchdowns during the 2021 season, and he could be a similarly stunning playmaker for the Texans.

If he can, it would be massive. Houston drafted former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick, and it needs to surround him with talent to yield early success. However, the Texans’ crop of veteran receivers is fairly underwhelming, with Robert Woods and Nico Collins headlining the group.

Metchie has the potential to be the biggest difference-maker in Houston’s receiving corps, though his ability to do so hinges on his health and his development more than two years after he last saw the playing field.

While there are definitely some “ifs” in there, there’s a far better than average chance that Metchie will shine in the new Texans offense. Planted firmly in the slot, Metchie and newly signed tight end Dalton Shultz should provide Stroud with all the crossing and out route safety valves the young passer could ever need. Especially if Dell, Collins, Woods and the outside receivers can draw legit attention away from the interior receivers.