Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tackle Derek Newton (72) in action against Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
9. Derek Newton – Offensive Tackle, Arkansas State; 2011 7th round 214th overall selection
Not a lot of 7th round picks pan out for NFL teams, but there is the rare case in which a team finds a productive player in the final round. In 2011, Houston found a guy late who wasn’t just productive, but became a key piece of their offensive line.
Derek Newton out of Arkansas State was the 214th player selected that year and appeared in 14 games his rookie season, mostly on special teams.
Since then, he has been a rock for the team, mostly at right tackle. He started 14 games in 2012 and every single one since then, including the first 11 of this season.
What has been even more impressive than his solid play as a right tackle, has been his versatility. While the line struggled early on in 2015 due to injuries, Newton moved around the line and played guard to help fill in wherever he could.
At just 27-years of age, and sporting a new five-year deal for roughly $26 million, Newton will continue to be a key piece to this line for many years to come. Most teams could only hope for such production from their choices in the 7th round.
Next: Wisconsin has been good to the Texans