John Metchie III Drafted by Texans: Houston's Updated Depth Chart After Round 2

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 30, 2022

Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III (8) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

The Houston Texans selected Alabama star John Metchie III with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

The 21-year-old was the No. 94 overall pick and No. 14 wide receiver on Bleacher Report's final big board heading into the draft.

Here is where he fits into his new team's depth chart:

WR 1: Brandin Cooks

WR 2: John Metchie III

WR 3: Nico Collins, Chris Moore, Phillip Dorsett

Metchie was stuck behind DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs III in his freshman season with the Crimson Tide. With Ruggs and Jeudy moving on, he was afforded a bigger role beginning in 2020.

Over his final two seasons at Alabama, the 5'11" standout caught 151 receptions for 2,058 yards and 14 touchdowns. He closed out the 2021 regular season on a high, catching 23 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown in wins over Arkansas and Auburn.

ESPN @espn

Bryce Young ➡️ John Metchie catch and run for the TD 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/ijKNt3st0o">pic.twitter.com/ijKNt3st0o</a>

Metchie was on his way to another monster outing in the SEC Championship Game before suffering a torn ACL. The Crimson Tide went on to watch Jameson Williams suffer the same injury in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Alabama takes the lead 🔴⚪️<br><br>John Metchie makes the grab for 6<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/CBSSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBSSports</a>) <br> <a href="https://t.co/YaEBbCH2Gj">pic.twitter.com/YaEBbCH2Gj</a>

The timing of his injury meant Metchie was unable to do much work in front of teams leading up to the draft. Until he gets back on the field, the questions about how the torn ACL affects him going forward will linger as well.

Still, he showed more than enough to warrant a Day 2 selection, and the fact that his draft stock took a hit following the ACL injury means the Texans may get a steal.

Scouting the second-team All-SEC wideout for Bleacher Report, Nate Tice drew a parallel to Chicago Bears receiver Byron Pringle:

"Metchie is a receiver who can align inside and outside and does a lot of things well. But he lacks any true overwhelming trait. He is an above-average route-runner at all three levels but can at times be a magnet for contact instead of slipping by, and he lacks consistency coming out of breaks. He can at times be a little too rounded on his breaks. Having said that, Metchie does a good job of keeping defenders off-balanced with his releases and shows a good feel for finding soft spots working versus zone coverages.
"He is an above-average overall athlete with good balance and body control to make adjustments on plays like backshoulder throws. He also flashes the quickness to make a defender miss after the catch. But he doesn’t have overwhelming burst and long speed and won’t truly pull away from defenders when coming out of routes or after the catch."

Because of his height, Metchie will likely fit best as a slot receiver. Thanks to his route-running and pass-catching ability, he should have a high floor in the NFL. As Tice laid out, though, he may not emerge as the archetypal home run threat.

Still, this pick represents nice value for Houston, especially if Metchie is back to 100 percent in time for Week 1.