The Houston Texans need to strongly consider North Carolina’s Jason Strowbridge in the NFL Draft. He has the tools to be a building block for the future.
Houston Texans‘ fans — around this time next week, we’re going to be deeply-vested into the NFL Draft and we’re about to find out who will among the small group of men that will have the opportunity to represent this franchise in some form.
It’s anybody’s guess on what the exact strategy will be but I’m sure Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby will tell you that they’re going to try to get the best guy available, knowing full well that the defensive unit needs to addressed after making such pointed investments in the offense over the years.
As J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus continue to be well-advanced into their careers and with the losses of Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Reader stinging a bit, a partial overhaul of this defense is paramount.
They’ll have to use the majority of this draft to do that and defensive linemen are going to be definitely what this team needs to be successful on the front.
This will be the first draft where incoming defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will have his imprint likely with some valuable input from long-time stalwart Romeo Crennel.
A guy that they strongly need to look at is North Carolina’s Jason Strowbridge, who carved himself a nice career with the Tar Heels. He’s just the right size, fast and can develop into a starter while learning his craft. It would help but he doesn’t necessarily have to be impactful now but later down the road is when it matters.
Strowbridge is an All-ACC team third-team selection and is a 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end
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with 32.9-inch arms and 9.9-inch hands which is certainly going to be enough to get the job done in this league. He’s proven that he can get to the quarterback but it’s certainly a skill that he’ll likely have to work on at the professional level.
This man clocked a 4.89 40-yard dash time and that’s certainly enough of an attribute to take a flyer on him. He’s strong, he’s long and he’s fast so he’s got my vote of confidence. Since the Houston Texans play a hybrid-style of a 3-4/4-3 defense, the fact that he can thrive can either scheme demonstrates his potential to succeed with the team.
Strowbridge is likely going to be available in the later rounds and I think the team should just go on and take him in the third round, to which he’s projected to still be available around then.
What the experts are saying
"“Strowbridge will give opponents a physical challenge with good length, toughness and hand usage at the point of attack, but he lacks the suddenness and short-area directional change to be a consistent disruptor. While he’s not a plus pass rusher, he definitely flashed at the Senior Bowl and has upside as a reduced rusher in an even front on passing downs. He will need to drop the pad level to improve as an edge-setter, but he appears to offer the necessary physical tools and demeanor to become a rotational 3-4 five-technique or 4-3 base end with eventual-starter potential.”"
"“North Carolina defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge is an exciting run defender that has heavy hands, excellent functional strength, a hot motor and good processing skills to make an impact. With that said, his lack of burst, length and fluidity limit his upside as a pass rusher or gap-penetrator. While Strowbridge has many of the qualities needed to play 5-technique in a 3-4 alignment, his lack of extension skills present restrictions. Strowbridge is likely an early down base end in a 4-3 that can situationally rush from the interior. His ceiling is modest but he has the makings of a quality rotational option.”"
Let’s look at some tape too:
The bottom line
As you can see, things could get even better for Strowbridge’s pursuit to be successful in the NFL. I think because of his versatility, he’ll be able to do whatever he’s asked and still be able to set some type of bar for the rookie class this season that will be on the Houston Texans.
His calling card, rush defense, could make their defense even stronger in that category with the unit ranking 8th among teams allowing a paltry 121.1 yards per game back in 2019.
He’s not the type of guy that will be a plug-and-play type but one that will be ready to go with a bit of lead time in development and is worth the investment.
We’ll have to see where the team goes with once they get to this area of the draft.
Strowbridge accumulated 123 tackles — 62 solos — along with 10.5 sacks, 22.0 tackles-for-loss three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed in all four seasons with the Tar Heels.