The Houston Texans selected NIU tackle Max Scharping 55th overall in the second round of the NFL Draft. Here’s why his impact will be immediate. Look.
Houston Texans fans — after the team paid close attention to their needs by selecting a tackle and a cornerback with their first two picks — Tytus Howard and Lonnie Johnson Jr. respectively — they went back to well of finding guys that can help protect Deshaun Watson profusely.
Quite honestly — I do believe the Houston Texans have found their man in Northern Illinois tackle Max Scharping. As with most picks outside of the first round, there are some tweaks that need to be made but I think Scharping is going to be one of the picks from this draft that will make an immediate impact. Why? Let’s talk about it some more.
Scharping is a 6-foot-5, 327-pound tackle with 33.63-inch arms and 10-inch hands that starred all four seasons for the NIU Huskies. His campaign went incredibly well, averaging 981 snaps per season. Durability is not a problem with Scharping — he started 53 consecutive games, never missing a start and did not miss an offensive snap in 2018.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Scharping had a good 80.5 grade through 1,026 snaps in 2018. They have him graded out as an above-average pass/run blocker, the innate ability to avoid negative run blocks, creating a high percentage of run blocks and keeps his penalties (just one in 2018) to a minimum. In addition, Scharping was ranked 9th out of tackles in run-block success (94.1 percent) and 10th in pass-blocking efficiency (98.7). He faced an immense amount of pressure throughout 2018 and was able to stand up to it admirably.
He allowed 12 pressures in 2018 — 11 QB hurries, one sack and zero QB hits — which goes to show how meticulous is with his craft.
Scharping is also a warrior in the classroom, having finished up at NIU just short of a 4.0 GPA average. He also earned a scholarship worth $13K from the National Football Foundation as a scholar-athlete and was a first-team Google Cloud Academic All-American.
He was also named among the Top 10 of offensive linemen by USA Today this past season as well.
What the experts are saying
SportsRadio 610’s John Harris:
Lance Zierlein actually did a quick write-up on Scharping and you can take a look at it here. He thinks he won’t see the field that much but will be the team’s future right tackle — he can play on the left and right side of the line — as with Seantrel Henderson‘s injury history, you can bank on Scharping being able to play sooner than later.
The Bottom Line
The Houston Texans needed another tackle in this draft because bringing in Howard simply wasn’t
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enough. They admirably addressed it by bringing in Scharping into the fold to which I really could see him as a star in this league as he develops. He has all of the tangibles in place for him to succeed and I think he’ll get there.
He doesn’t seem like the guy that will razzle-dazzle every time that he’s on the field but he’s going to come to work every single day and do his job well. His versatility was one of the key components of his game that attracted the Houston Texans to him and I bet they’ll be moving him all around the line.
It’s very possible that we will see Howard and Scharping star alongside each other on the offensive line in the not-so-distant future. But that’s getting ahead of myself but with the type of numbers he put up, I know Watson feels tremendously better about these two men not letting get much past them in their collegiate careers.
It’s also important to note that he is a native of Green Bay, Wis. so the trip that the team will make this preseason for a game at Lambeau Field along with a joint practice will be special for him, especially as an NFL pro. I’m sure there will be a lot of rapport between he and J.J. Watt — who, as you know, is a Wisconsin native too — as they’ll be going at it in practice in the future.
I really like this pick and the Houston Texans will be a better team because of it.
Welcome to H-Town Max.
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