NFL Draft: Grading the Houston Texans five picks for 2020

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans
Houston Texans defensive end Ross Blacklock (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Round 2: Pick #40: Ross Blacklock (DT)

The Houston Texans need to do a partial rebuild of the defensive line as J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus aren’t getting any younger and some fresh faces will need to be featured on the line to help with the team’s pass rush which was near-abysmal outside of those two aforementioned men.

The franchise has tapped Ross Blacklock to be that guy.  He’s going to have the time to serve as an apprentice to veterans Brandon Dunn and Angelo Blackson but it won’t be long before he’s one of the featured tackles on the line.

There’s great potential for him to be the team’s nose tackle of the future because he’s a talented pass rusher but just has to work on his technique.  He’s fast, he’s athletic, he’s huge and he doesn’t give up easily and is dead-set on ensuring he gets to his man — the quarterback.

A lot of the experts had Blacklock graded in the first round with concerns about past injuries — he missed all of 2018 with an Achilles’ injury — that caused him to slip a bit.  But it was his terrific performance at the NFL Combine that still gave teams like the Houston Texans hope that he’d pan out to be something special.

The Houston Texans are fortunate to have him and I think he’ll be able to do great things for this team and in short order.  He was nominated to the first-team All-Big 12 and made the second team AP All-Big 12 during his tenure with TCU.

He’s from MoCity so he’s just minutes away from NRG Stadium and I’m positive he’s loving that he doesn’t have to move that far to pursue his dream of being a professional football player.  He’s achieved that, so now I’m sure his next step is how to be great among just a finite amount of men chosen to do a job that so many covet.

I think he will be just fine.

Grade:  A-