Kiper big fan of Texans DE Crick

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
5:51
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The Houston Texans have gotten a lot of praise for fourth-round pick Jared Crick, a defensive end out of Nebraska.

In his final Insider file assessing early impact players out of the draft, Mel Kiper Jr. looks at the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds that has Crick as Kiper's lone entry from the AFC South.

Houston spent the 126th overall selection on Crick, the defensive lineman out of Nebraska

Writes Kiper:
He's not J.J. Watt, but Crick could be used the same way in Wade Phillips' scheme. Undersized for an NFL 4-3 DT, I see Crick using his quickness as a penetrating 3-4 DE (though it's hard to classify positions in Phillips' system in truly conventional terms). I once had a first-round grade on Crick. He landed in the fourth round only because of a laundry list of recent injuries -- though he did start every game in 2009 and 2010. He could be a steal if he can stay on the field.

The Texans have Watt and Antonio Smith as their base ends. Smith kicks inside in nickel situations when at least one of the outside linebackers creeps forward as a functionally a defensive end.

As first-round pick Whitney Mercilus gives the team a third quality outside linebacker, Crick should give them a third quality end.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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