Houston Texans Positional Breakdown: Defensive Line

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Sep 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls defensive tackle Christian Covington (56) reacts after getting a sack during the fourth quarter against the Kansas Jayhawks at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Covington, Defensive End, 6’2″ 289 Pounds, 21 Years Old

The former Rice defender was expected at one point to be a second or third round selection, but injuries cost him his high draft status.

Some Background Info;

After 122 tackles and 11.5 sacks in his three year collegiate career, Covington doesn’t boast huge stats, but his size and strength make him an ideal fit for a defensive end in the Texans front.

What To Expect This Year;

Covington may not see the field at all this season after undergoing knee surgery last year. The team saw Clowney and Nix both struggle last season with recovering from knee injuries, so look for them to be extra careful with Covington.

A more long-term look sees Covington becoming a solid rotational player who will get a lot of time as an end as well as having the ability to slide inside to tackle on four-man fronts whenever employed.

Oct 4, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Brandon Ivory (99) congratulates defensive lineman D. J. Pettway (57) after a defensive stop during the first half against Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Ivory, Nose Tackle, 6’4″ 311 Pounds, 22 Years Old

Another Alabama defensive lineman finds his way to Houston as defensive end Brandon Ivory was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Some Background Info;

64 tackles and three sacks in four season is nothing to be excited about, but working as a defensive tackle for the Nick Saban coached Alabama Crimson Tide is. Ivory worked with a pro-style defense and fought day-in-and-day-out with NFL level talent in the SEC.

What To Expect This Year;

If Nix continues to struggle and not show the proper work ethic, O’Brien will have no problem turning to an undrafted guy like Ivory. Still, I expect him to be at best a third option at the nose position, and his best bet may be to make the practice squad with an eye on developing for the future.

Next: Winning In 2015 Will Require Defensive Leadership