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Meet The Newest Texan: Houston Selects Jared Crick

Rick Smith loves the Big Ten.
Rick Smith loves the Big Ten.

With the 126th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans picked Jared Crick, defensive end from the University of Nebraska.

My thoughts on the pick after the jump.

General Manager Rick Smith and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips just hit a late-inning home run. I cannot understate how phenomenal of a pick this is for the Houston Texans and the defense.

Crick, once upon a time, was a first round talent but his senior season was ended early due to pectoral injury. In the fourth round, this is tremendous value and depth for the defensive line. Crick projects as the 5-technique in Wade's defense, meaning he will rotate in behind Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt.

Like Watt, Crick was a DE/DT tweener, is viewed as an active run defender, and does a good job of shedding blocks. He's not as athletic or quick as Watt, but there are similarities between the two and how they play. In nickel situations, Crick also gives Wade flexibility as he can slide inside to defensive tackle, as Watt did last season.

As mentioned before, the injury and position questions knocked Crick down, but the value is tremendous. This is another Big Ten pick that strengthens the Texans defense and is an absolute home run.