At 6'4", 280 pounds, Jared Crick is a bit of a tweener. Crick impressed during his time in Lincoln, though, and projected as an early-round pick.
As a sophomore and junior, Crick was extremely productive, racking up 19 sacks and 32 tackles for loss. As a senior, however, Crick struggled with injuries and failed to produce at a high level prior to a season-ending pectoral injury.
Even before the injury his senior year, he just wasn’t the dominant player he was during his 28 starts as a sophomore and junior totaling 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss in the five games he played. He also got routinely worked by one of the best guards in this year’s draft in Kevin Zeitler as well as arguably the best junior center in the nation in Peter Konz in the Wisconsin game. If he could just learn to play with more leverage, he could very well be a force to be reckoned with. Either way, I don’t see him being able to play on the inside in the NFL or on the outside in a 4-3. His best bet is to play as a 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme.
Crick's biggest problem is his lack of a true position. He's not athletic or explosive enough to play defensive end, and he's not big or strong enough to be a defensive tackle.
He does offer versatility, though. Crick can move around the defensive line, rushing the passer from the inside and defending the run from the outside.
In a 3-4 defense, Crick may be able to play the 5-technique, but must add strength in order to anchor against the run.
Crick is unlikely to contribute much in 2012. He will need to either gain or lose weight before he is ready to see a ton of playing time, and he'll serve as depth until his second season.
Crick's versatility will fit in perfectly for the Texans. With J.J. Watt's fierce DE presence on the end, the Texans look to scare the rest of the AFC South and land back in the playoffs with a renewed defensive presence.