Another NFL regular season comes to a conclusion. The 2022 rookie wide receiver class exceeded all expectations. This exceptional class boasts future superstars, including Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Chris Olave, Christian Watson, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson, George Pickens, and Jameson Williams. Overshadowed by this exhausting list of young talent is the Houston Texans’ John Metchie III. After battling recovery to repair a torn ACL, Metchie received the devastating news that his NFL dreams would be put on hold after being diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia). This is the most treatable form of Leukemia. Still, it was clear that the young wide receiver had a long journey to recovery ahead. In late September, it was reported that he completed all his treatments and is currently cancer-free. However, his inspiring story of resilience is bigger than football. Metchie is poised for a successful first season on the field in 2023.
Being overshadowed and facing unique levels of adversity are two circumstances that Metchie has dealt with his entire football career. He was diagnosed with a slightly enlarged heart in high school but was given medical clearance to play football. At the collegiate level, he was often overshadowed by his Crimson Tide teammates. This included some of the pass-catchers we currently see taking over the league, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Jameson Williams. After putting together a brilliant Junior season at Alabama, Metchie suffered a torn ACL in the conference title game and missed the rest of the team’s playoff run. It is an understatement to claim that it has not been an easy journey to get to where he is today. Even after facing overwhelming tribulations, he is motivated to defy the odds and overcome all setbacks.
At the NFL level, Metchie should find most of his success playing from the slot. His size, speed, and overall athleticism do not jump off the page. This could hinder his ability to become a true WR1 for your dynasty teams. Still, we have seen plenty of players with similar archetypes dominate at the professional level. Although not blazing fast, Metchie possesses subtle quickness, which he utilizes in his routes. He uses his elite footwork to create separation from defenders and has an uncanny ability to find holes in the defense. Although this ability does not always generate splash plays that we would see from some of his collegiate teammates, he would often carve up defenses with an abundance of first-down-creating, short-yardage plays. Due to this, I believe that Metchie possesses the potential to evolve into a PPR monster at the professional level.
2023 Season Outlook
To reach his maximum potential, Metchie will need a quarterback capable of complimenting his strengths and masking his limitations. That player is not currently on the Houston roster. This is why Metchie is the perfect buy-low candidate at this point. The Texans had another lackluster year, landing the second-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Although this class boasts elite prospects at several positions, there are few teams in the NFL in need of a franchise quarterback more than Houston. If the organization chooses to address this glaring need in 2023, it will have an extremely challenging decision between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. Of the two options, I prefer Young as a prospect and for team fit. Young is a unique talent who lacks a true weakness other than physical limitations. He is extremely accurate, has exceptional mobility, and is poised well beyond his years as a leader.
To complement an extensive list of attributes and accolades, Young was also a driving force in assisting Metchie’s peak. The two were a lethal combination at the collegiate level. There is little reason to believe they would not have similar results in the NFL. In his final season with the Crimson Tide, Metchie had a team-high 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns in only thirteen games. Although Jameson Williams took most of the spotlight that season, there is a justifiable argument that Young’s preferred first-look in the offense was Metchie prior to the injury. The Houston Texans have a respectable offensive line and running attack, which should help expedite Young’s early success at the next level. There is additionally not an abundance of competition for targets in Houston’s current offense. Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, and Chris Moore are the most established pass-catchers on this underwhelming unit. There is a high chance that Cooks is not in the team’s future plans. This leaves a great opportunity for Metchie to step in and immediately be a primary target in their offensive attack.
The Comeback is Always Greater than the Setback
The obstacles that Metchie faced in his early career were enough to force many to give up on their football dreams. His courageous display of heart and resilience is beyond inspiring. Although his story is bigger than football, the young wide receiver’s potential to be a difference-maker on the field should not go unrecognized. I expect his dynasty value to increase tremendously as we loom closer to draft season. Due to this, now is the perfect time to get in early to attempt to acquire his talents for your rosters. I recommend offering an aging veteran or a mid-to-late second-round pick for his services. Still only 22 years old, Metchie has already accomplished so much off the football field. We are all rooting for him in his next chapter as he makes his highly-anticipated return to action in 2023.