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This is possibly the best selection made by Houston in the entire draft. If it were not for his torn pectoral muscle injury that kept him out for the majority of his senior season, Jared Crick would have been considered a first-round pick.
Crick is an able pass-rusher, totaling 9.5 sacks in his junior season. He showed great work with his hands, and that combined with his pure strength allowed him to shed blocks quite easily. He is a consistent, dependable pass-rusher.
Crick, however, is much more skilled against the run than the pass. At Nebraska, he was a stout run defender, and he showed great instincts at getting to the ball-carrier. His size made it nearly impossible for college offensive linemen to move him backwards, and he was able to wrap up the running back with the ball whenever one ran near him. Also, Crick displayed that he had the ability to shed offensive linemen who were run blocking him, and be able to chase down the running back from behind.
Crick is already drawing comparisons to J.J. Watt, the Texans defensive end who made a run at winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, who displayed many of the same abilities as Crick coming out of college. Unlike Crick, Watt was selected with the 11th overall pick in the draft.
One of the main issues with Crick that caused his draft stock to fall, other than his injury history, is his struggle against double-teams. When Ndamukong Suh left Nebraska, Crick was exposed to more double-teams than he was accustomed to, and he struggled to put up the same numbers that he did in previous seasons.
On the Texans, however, Crick will rarely, if ever, draw double-teams. The Texans posses a bevy of pass-rushers, and opposing offensive linemen would not dare double-team Crick, for Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, Antonio Smith and possibly Whitney Mercilus can all get at the quarterback very effectively.
If Crick can remain healthy, he will become a key pickup for the Texans in the fourth round, and he could very well become a starter for the defense that was ranked No. 2 in the league last season.
Draft Grade: A-