Four Camp Crushes Through Week One
These players have earned my camp crush designation through a week of work. Here's why.
Every summer you would come back from break to classes and see who is new and what is different about your classmates.
The Houston Texans are one week into their new “school year” if you will. In the week of work, here are my four camp crushes and why they have developed.
John Metchie, WR
John Metchie is one of the best stories in football. It is fantastic he is back from a cancer diagnosis and playing football. The last time he played football was against Georgia in the SEC Championship in December of 2021.
You can’t tell it’s been that long. Now, Metchie hasn’t been making a massive amount of plays, but you can see how he fits into the offense. He possesses the versatility to play inside and outside. There will be opportunities for him in this offense.
What really stands out to me about Metchie is he’s smooth. It doesn’t look like he’s never played in the NFL. It doesn’t look like the position is hard for him. There’s plenty to like about his potential.
Roy Lopez, DL
I underestimated Roy Lopez. I left him off my initial roster projection. There was plenty of talk about his physical transformation this time last year, but the results weren’t there in the regular season.
Lopez again worked on his body, and he seems more prepared for this season than last. He’s flashed more than a few times in camp. It was a couple of tackles for a loss early but he’s also added a couple of sacks. He even knocked down a pass at the line of scrimmage.
The defensive tackle room has three spots accounted for already when everyone is healthy. Maliek Collins and Sheldon Rankins are highly-compensated while Hassan Ridgeway is a free agent addition that has experience in the system. It will be up to Lopez to secure the potentially lone free spot at defensive tackle.
He’s off to a great start through one week.
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Blake Cashman, LB
Blake Cashman has been one of the best players in training camp to this point. I figured he would be on the roster as a depth piece that helps on special teams. The way he has played makes me wonder if he can factor into the linebacker rotation.
Cashman has two interceptions and some pass breakups. He’s anticipatory with his reads of the offense and it has led to some tackles for a loss. There is also a lot of energy in Cashman’s game and it’s infectious. Cashman was one of my favorite mid-round players in the 2019 NFL draft. It’s been nice to see him carve out a role in Houston and maybe even expand that role with this training camp performance.
Blake has been showing up the past few days. He’s showing up in the run game, being physical in the run game, but also as you’ve seen in the past two days, I think he’s had probably two interceptions, one PBU. He’s showing up around the ball and it’s encouraging to see. The linebackers, there’s a lot of competition there, and Blake is doing a really good job. - DeMeco Ryans on Blake Cashman
Will Anderson, DL
If you’ve read any of my work to this point, you knew this was coming. Will Anderson has been as advertised, and better. He is constantly blowing up rushing plays. He frequently gets to the quarterback.
One of the most impressive things he’s done has been chasing down a wide receiver who has caught a screen pass. For a loss. That’s right, at defensive end, Anderson recovered and chased down the receiver. He did this twice.
I would love to see more of Anderson taking on Laremy Tunsil, though Anderson did note he has used Tunsil and right tackle Tytus Howard as a teaching resource in camp. What else can Will Anderson do? Stay tuned.
The Texans will return to practice on Thursday.