Houston Texans: 3 defenders who have earned playing time this preseason

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans DE Duke Ejiofor
HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 18: Duke Ejiofor #53 of the Houston Texans makes a tackle (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Duke Ejiofor, DE/OLB

The more he plays, the more it amazes me that Duke Ejiofor slid to the sixth round of the 2018 draft. Sure, there were some injury concerns surrounding him in the draft but, there’s no way he should’ve slid that far. The Houston Texans look like they have a draft steal on their hands.

Purely looking at tackles and sacks, Ejiofor hasn’t done much thus far in the preseason. He has two tackles to his name and zero sacks. One of his tackles came on a kickoff and the other was extremely impressive. He clipped Dante Pettis, son of Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis, on a wide receiver reverse. Pettis has some serious wheels so this was a great stop.

Ejiofor played more snaps against the Chiefs than he did against the 49ers but, he drew starter snaps against the 49ers. Ejiofor has collected several quarterback hits and many more quarterback hurries in these two games.

Related Story. Duke Ejiofor shines in debut. light

In spite of receiving criticism for his athleticism in the draft process, Ejiofor finds a way to consistently get in the backfield. He has tremendous technique, especially for a rookie, that will go a long way to him getting snaps when they matter more.

Ejiofor won’t see starter snaps in the regular season at all, barring injury (knock on a million pieces of wood). However, he should be the first pass rusher off the bench in the regular season. He’s showed tremendous ability to come in and do that. I mean, just imagine a pass rushing package that had Watt, Clowney, Mericulus, and Ejiofor all chasing the quarterback at once. Sounds like a guaranteed sack to me.