Texans had 2nd-round grade on Nix

Texans had 2nd-round grade on Nix
May 12, 2014, 5:15 pm
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(USA Today Images)

Some draft experts thought Louis Nix was a first-round player. The Texans got him in the third.

At the Texans Charity Golf Classic on Monday, Texans general manager Rick Smith said the team had second-round grades on Nix. In fact, when they were discussing players for the second round, Nix’s name came up.

When Nix was still available in the third round, Smith was pretty surprised.

“So when he’s still sitting there in the third round, that’s when we decided to get aggressive and swap picks,” Smith said. “If he’s the way he’s capable of playing, I think we got guy that can really help our defense.”

The Texans picked up the Eagles' 83rd-overall pick by giving away pick 101 and 141. It was the fourth time Smith has traded up in a draft (11 trades).

Nix is a 6-2, 331-pound nose tackle from Notre Dame. The Texans met with him briefly at the Combine but Nix was a little surprised that Houston was the team to draft him. He did have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The surgery ended his final season at Notre Dame early.

But he was considered by many to be the best nose tackle in the draft class. So owner Bob McNair was pretty happy about the move.

"Well, that was really a good move because we brought in a couple of guys at nose tackle and think they’re gonna be pretty good but Nix, he was the best nose tackle there in the draft,” McNair said. “He has a chance to be outstanding and be the type of player (defensive coordinator) Romeo (Crennel) is looking for. So I thought that was really smart move on Rick’s part.”

The Texans have some other players on the roster capable of playing nose tackle but Nix has a very good chance of coming in and starting immediately. He’s known as a run stuffing tackle but wants to become a better pass rusher in the NFL. That process will start when he arrived to rookie camp on Friday.

“It’ll be a challenge,” veteran center Chris Myers said about the chance to go up against Nix during training camp. “He’s got a very, very successful career in college. For him to be able to play that many games at nose tackle says a lot about him, his durability as well. I watched him in college and for us to be able to get him, I’m excited about playing against him in training camp.”