Houston Texans: Charles Omenihu a sturdy option to help with pass rush

Houston Texans defensive end Charles Omenihu (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Houston Texans defensive end Charles Omenihu (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have selected Charles Omenihu 161st overall in the 5th round. The D-Line is already stacked but how does he make it better? Let’s look.

The Houston Texans kicked off Day 3 with selecting the best player available on their board because their 5th-round selection wasn’t necessarily a need the team had to fill immediately.  The franchise decided to move forward with University of Texas defensive end Charles Omenihu, a talented, yet decorated lineman that I see as a powerful asset to the team in the not so distant future.

With J.J. Watt headlining the unit, the team also has Angelo Blackson, Carlos Watkins and Joel Heath to fill out the rest.  Out of all of the guys listed, Heath should be the guy in the hot seat because although he has had flashes of brilliance, they haven’t been enough to warrant keeping him on the roster.

The often-explosive Blackson was just signed to a three-year, $12 million deal this past off season and Watkins is still three seasons into his rookie deal with a lot of promise to boot which leaves Heath by the wayside.

I project that Omenihu will leapfrog his way into this unit and will make his mark early-in, even if the snaps that he gets are limited.

What else is there to make out of him?  Let’s look.


Omenihu is a 6-foot-5, 280-pound DE that wears his size like a badge of honor with his 34.9-inch arms and 9.9-inch hands.  He impressively ran the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds at the NFL Combine.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Omenihu had an extremely-solid 81.1 overall grade through 816 snaps in 2018.

The guys at PFF have him evaluated as an above-average edge rusher in his draft class, especially with the pass rush, run defense, sack conversion rate as well as holding up well to the amount of pressure that he faced.  His tackling efficiency could use some work but I think that’s something that could improve over time with the right amount of practice at it.

He exerted tons of pressure himself with 9.5 sacks, 18 tackles-for-loss, eight quarterback hits, 22 QB hurries, one batted pass, 38 run stops along with 32 tackles — 13 assisted — in 2018.  He had only eight missed tackles to his credit.

Omenihu is the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and appeared in 51 career games — 33 starts — as a four-year defensive lineman.  He appeared and started in all 14 games this past season.

Charles is also a native of Rowlett, Texas, a waterfront community located northeast of Dallas.  I’ve spent some time out in nearby Rockwall for a weekend and it’s a nice area to be outdoors, especially on Lake Ray Hubbard.

What the experts are saying

SportsRadio 610’s John Harris:

The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss tweeting on behalf of his colleague, Dane Brugler:

The Bottom Line

The Houston Texans may have gotten themselves a steal in the 5th round with Omenihu.  His size,

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length, explosiveness and the ability to give offensive linemen trouble is something that he’s expected to do but when there so many guys on this roster that can do that, it’s going to make the defensive line that much stronger.

If one is trying to build a roster to earn a championship, having a guy like Omenihu would be crucial to come out and make a play.  Plus, his familiarity with local fans here in the state will be a plus because they’ll have a player that they can readily identify and relate to.

I wouldn’t expect to see him on every down next season for the Houston Texans but he’ll get some valuable snaps.  Like I said earlier, Joel Heath is in the hot seat and I think Omenihu is about to boot him out of it, especially after what we see he can do in training camp when the battle begins.

Did I just start the notion of a position battle?  Nope, Brian Gaine did when he drafted him, I’m just admitting the inevitable to you.  Nonetheless, Charles will be an interesting watch come training camp.

Welcome to H-Town Charles.

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