Look for these Canadians in the NFL Chase Claypool, receiver, Chicago Bears


The second-round pick out of Notre Dame dazzled as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020, when he scored four touchdowns in a single game and finished the season with 11 TDs and 62 receptions for 873 yards.

Chicago isn’t exactly a receiver’s haven with run-happy quarterback Justin Fields at the helm. And Claypool finds himself lower on the depth chart this year after the Bears traded for D.J. Moore to be their new No. 1 receiver. But that move could help elevate Fields’ shaky passing and lift Chicago out of the basement after it went a league-worst 3-14 last year.

Jevon Holland, safety, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins, one of the fastest teams in the NFL, feature flashy playmakers like star receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey (out until December with a knee injury). But the secret star of the Miami defence is Holland, a 2021 second-round pick who led the team with two interceptions last year while quietly becoming one of the better safeties in the league.

Holland might earn wider acclaim (and his first Pro Bowl selection) if Miami makes a run at the Super Bowl.

Chuba Hubbard, running back, Carolina Panthers

John Metchie
Josh Palmer

A former 2,000-yard rusher for Oklahoma State, the 2021 fourth-round pick spent much of his first two pro seasons as a backup to superstar Christian McCaffrey. Chuba was traded to San Francisco last year then to the Panthers.

It’s a transition year in Carolina, where No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young is taking over at quarterback with Frank Reich as the new head coach. If current number one back Sanders disappoints, Hubbard will have a chance to show that he should be part of the team’s future.

John Metchie III, receiver, Houston Texans

John Metchie could be a candidate for Comeback Player of the year after missing his entire rookie season after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Though he’s only 23, Metchie is already no stranger to comebacks. He led perennial college power Alabama with 96 catches in 2021 before blowing out his knee in the SEC title game. Houston drafted him in the second round anyway, and now he’ll finally get a chance to prove himself on a rebuilding team that’s breaking in No. 2 overall pick C. J. Stroud at quarterback.

Josh Palmer, receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Jevon Holland

Last season, the 2021 third-round choice was targeted 107 times (more than double his rookie-year total) as star wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed time with injuries. Palmer converted those targets into a solid 72 catches for 769 yards and three touchdowns.

The Chargers always seem to fall short of expectations, but they have an MVP-calibre quarterback in Justin Herbert and a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. If new offensive co-ordinator Kellen Moore can unlock this team’s enormous scoring potential, Palmer could find himself playing in a Super Bowl.

Chuba Hubbard