Canada’s basketball team has made history by earning its country’s first-ever berth in the semifinals of the men’s World Cup. Led by NBA players, including MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the team has also secured a spot in next year’s Olympics. While basketball has been a significant success for Canada, the country is also making waves in the NFL with a growing number of Canadian players being drafted.
This year, a record of five Canadians were picked, following four in 2021. Below are five of the most notable.
John Metchie III – Houston Texans
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin could win the league’s Comeback Player of the Year Award simply on account of making his team’s 53-man roster after nearly dying on the field from cardiac arrest just a year ago, however, Houston Texans wide receiver John Metchie could be in the running, having missed his whole rookie season on the back of a leukemia diagnosis.
The Texans drafted the wideout in 2021 even though he blew out his knee in the SEC Championship game and he’s since gotten an opportunity to put his potential on full display alongside a quarterback who’s announced himself as the top rookie in C.J. Stroud.
Jevon Holland – Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins, known for their speed, have a talented roster that includes popular receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, as well as the newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who recently returned from rehabbing a serious knee injury. Jevon Holland, a second-round pick from 2021, had two interceptions last year, he has quietly become one of the league’s top safeties.
If Miami makes a Super Bowl appearance, the Canadian may finally receive the recognition he deserves and could even get his first Pro Bowl nod. However, the team’s success will largely depend on the health of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered multiple concussions and had his 2022 season cut short.
The Dolphins have had a very decent season but their failure to beat winning teams has cast some doubt on how far they could go in 2023. Still, they will be one of the teams to attract the focus of CA sports betting once the playoffs come along given Holland’s presence.
Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers
Chuba Hubbard, who was once a star rusher for Oklahoma State and was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, served as a backup to Christian McCaffrey for most of his first two professional seasons. However, Hubbard proved his worth as both a runner and receiver when McCaffrey was injured in 2021 and after he was traded to San Francisco the following year. Despite this, the Panthers still chose to sign former Philadelphia Eagles star Miles Sanders, as their primary running back.
There has been a changing of the guard as Bryce Young, the top overall pick in the draft, has taken over as quarterback while head coach Fran Reich is set to be replaced, having gotten fired. If Sanders fails to meet expectations or suffers an injury, Hubbard will have an opportunity to put his potential on full exhibit and secure his place on the team for the future.
Josh Palmer – Los Angeles Chargers
2021 third-round pick Josh Palmer got 107 targets, more than twice what he got during his rookie year, last season. That was due to the absence of star wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, who were out with injuries. The WR snatched his opportunity, making 72 catches for 769 yards and three touchdowns.
However, despite his output, the Chargers still chose to draft Quentin Johnston in the first round in the hopes of finding a more explosive No. 3 receiver. Things haven’t quite worked out, though. The Chargers were heading into Week 13 with a 4-7 record with head coach Brand Staley on the hot seat.
Chase Claypool – Miami Dolphins
Chase Claypool had a dazzling rookie season for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020, scoring four touchdowns in a single game. However, he found himself in coach Mike Tomlin’s doghouse in 2021, seeing his TD total fall to two. Claypool was traded to the Chicago Bears, where he found himself lower on the depth chart this year.
Chicago isn’t the best spot for a wide receiver looking to rejuvenate his career as quarterback Justin Fields much prefers running over passing. So that it didn’t work out came as no surprise.
Claypool has since been traded to the Miami Dolphins but a knee injury has kept him sidelined. There is hope that he could return to the field this Sunday.