The Houston Texans are rolling the dice on John Metchie III. The Canadian wide receiver went No.44 overall to the franchise in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 29.
It was a bittersweet moment, to be sure.
As one of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s No. 1 receivers, Metchie III was considered a consensus first-round pick. That is, before a season-ending ACL tear in his junior season that sent his draft stock plummeting.
On the other hand, the 21-year-old is one of only 60-plus Canadians ever drafted into America’s largest major sports league. No one can downplay that accomplishment.
So, who is Canada’s newest NFLer, and what can punters expect? PlayCanada looks at those questions as Canadian sportsbooks offer up odds on Metchie’s future.
Metchie III: Offensive rookie of the year odds
Metchie III is still on the market at multiple Canada sports betting apps for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year despite his significant injury.
Here are Metchie’s odds at Canada sportsbooks:
- BetMGM Canada: 67.00 European odds, +6600 American odds
- BetRivers Canada: 61.00, +6000
- Caesars Canada: 41.00, +4000
For reference’s sake, here are the leaders:
- BetMGM: Kenny Pickett/Drake London (7.50 European odds, +650 American odds)
- BetRivers: Kenny Pickett (6.00, +500)
- Caesars: London (6.00, +500)
So, when it comes to major awards, Metchie III is still a long shot this year. In fairness, that should be the least of his worries as he recovers.
Metchie leaves historic career behind
Metchie III played three memorable seasons with the Crimson Tide.
There, he excelled under the tutelage of legendary head coach Nick Saban as the Brampton product won a national championship in his sophomore season. Mechie III outdid himself in his junior campaign, recording career-best in receptions (96) and receiving yards (1,142).
All of that came crashing down on Dec. 4, 2021, when the receiver tore his ACL in his club’s conference championship against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Houston trades up for Metchie III
Since then, Metchie III has been dealing with the ramifications of that night.
Pro Football Focus – one of the leaders in football coverage — had him falling to as low as No.74 in its final draft board.
But the Texans remained convinced; Houston even traded up to get the No.44 selection.
Metchie III says he will be ready by training camp
According to the youngster, it will be all systems go come training camp in July. Metchie III said during his video conference on draft night:
“I’ve been running already for the last couple of months, cutting, jumping, all of those types of things. When I say I’ll be ready in July, it’s full-go football.”
And Houston will likely need him. Last season, the club went 4-13 (win-loss) and was ranked dead-last in team offence. Canada books still have Houston finishing dead-last in the AFC Southeast:
- BetMGM: 26.00 European odds, +2500 American odds (last-place odds)
- BetRivers: 26.00, +2500 (last-place odds)
- Caesars: 36.00, +3500 (last-place odds)
Canadians in NFL history: Metchie III could create path
It may be asking a lot of the Ontarian to make an immediate impact coming off a significant injury. But Metchie III has been known to defy the odds.
Yes, there have been Canadians scattered across the league in NFL history. Generally speaking, they were typically specialists or linemen – producing little appeal to casual football fans.
Metchie III as a receiver – a position known for its eccentric characters – is different in this regard. He already knows how to play winning football. The transition to the biggest stage shouldn’t intimidate him too much. Whether that translates to wins, stats, and a new fanbase in Canada remains to be seen.
But it should make for an interesting subplot as punters enjoy betting on the NFL. This year will be the first time bettors can do so through Ontario’s new live market. The 2022 NFL schedule will come out on May 12.