Heading into day three of the NFL draft, the Houston Texans still had a couple of holes to fill. While offense was certainly the priority, the defense still needed to add more depth. That’s exactly what the Texans did, as they selected Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins in the 4th round of the draft. Watkins’ stock was projected around the same time he got drafted, and he brings a new dynamic to the Texans’ defense. Here’s a quick breakdown of the selection.
Carlos Watkins, Defensive Tackle
Watkins was a 2-year starter on a team that went to back-to-back national championship games. He continually improved in each of the last few seasons. After recording 0 sacks in his first 3 seasons on campus, Watkins recorded 8 sacks in 2015, as part of a loaded defensive line. In 2016, Watkins recorded 10.5 sacks, and helped lead the Tigers to an upset win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the title game. Watkins played in the Tigers’ 4-3 defense, but will be tasked with transitioning to a 3-4 defense in Houston.
Houston Texans Take:
As a Texan, Watkins will help to fill the void left by the retired Vince Wilfork. The team could use depth at defensive line, as Joel Heath and Chris Covington were the only holdovers behind starters J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and D.J. Reader. As a rookie, Watkins should see time at defensive end, spelling Clowney and Watt. However, Watkins showed disruptiveness on tape that could make him an intriguing backup to nose tackle D.J. Reader. Like Reader, Watkins has the potential to be a value pick at defensive line by the Texans. Although an older prospect, Watkins has a chance to develop into a key role player in a loaded defense such as the Texans’.