Could the Houston Texans look to Baylor’s Andrew Billings as the answer to the nose tackle position?
The Houston Texans head into the offseason with plenty of holes to fill, and although quarterback is the most glaring, there are other spots that need serious attention as well.
One such spot, is the nose tackle position, which they have unsuccessfully tried to address the past two off-seasons. In 2014 they drafted Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III in the third round. He spent all of that season on the injured reserve and was cut in 2015 before ever playing a snap for the team.
In 2015 they tried another route, by signing free agent tackle Vince Wilfork, who spent 12 seasons in New England. Despite starting every game, Wilfork registered only 22 total tackles (six of which were solo). He has another year on his deal he signed, but Houston could look for some youth to challenge him, as no other player is a true nose tackle on the roster.
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Perhaps the answer to their dilemma has just announced his plans to enter the NFL Draft. Baylor defensive tackle, Andrew Billings announced on Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and head to the NFL.
Billings is a big man at 6’2″ and 310 pounds and showed his potential by recording 107 tackles and 8.5 sacks in his three seasons in Waco, Texas. His final season he had 39 tackles (31 of which were solo), 14 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks.
He is a pure run stuffer, but showed he can contribute in pass rushing as well. He already possesses amazing strength and can make a real impact with the right kind of coaching.
Obviously, the hope in Houston is to land a quarterback, but with Houston drafting 22nd overall, the main prospects could already be gone. Billings, being one of the top defensive tackles, likely won’t last until the Texans pick in Round 2.
That means the team could think long and hard about taking a stud like Billings, who could be a long-time starter at the position, with their first pick. It may not be the flashiest pick, but it would solve the middle of their 3-4 defense for many years.