NFL Draft: Bryce Sterk could be sleeper Texans need to know

NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans need a quiet surprise in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that player could be a pass rusher from Montana State.

Adding to a defense is a task every team in the NFL must do each and every year, and that includes the Houston Texans. When the 2020 NFL Draft arrives in late April, that means teams will be looking for sleepers on Day 3 of the draft, and a player wh could draw attention late is Bryce Sterk, a defensive end from Montana State.

Though Sterk — who is 6’4, 260 pounds — played in the Big Sky Conference (Div. I Football Championship Subdivision,) he still has a real opportunity to impress in the NFL, even if he’s most likely going to be a late Day 3 selection.

This past season, Sterk totaled 42 solo tackles (65 total) with 19 tackles for loss and 15 sacks,  according to stats from Montana State University. In 2018, Sterk totaled 39 solo tackles (61 total tackles) with 17 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

A possible late Day 3 selection of Sterk would be one of just taking a chance on a small college player, and the Houston Texans could use a bit of luck on their side when it comes to revamping their defensive depth as they do currently hold three seventh-round choices.

On March 24 at a video workout, Sterk had a 4.69 40-yard dash time and a 34.5 inch vertical jump. According to agent Even Brennan’s Twitter page, those numbers would have been third best at the NFL Combine.

Granted, no team will throw away a draft pick, so a team has to believe a player has some potential for them to be able to draft them. Why not take a chance on a player like Sterk in the seventh round just to make sure he joins the roster?

Sterk originally played at Washington, but eventually transferred to Montana State and made a bit of a name for himself. In a game on Sept. 21 against Norfolk State, Sterk totaled 10 tackles and had 3.5 sacks. That game he also saw five of his tackles go for a loss.

That said, how will facing FCS competition transfer to playing in the NFL?

If a player can play, and gets the opportunity to showcase his skills, it shouldn’t matter which college they attended or what division of college football they played in, and that is the great thing about the draft and about Sterk.

With Sterk, the risk isn’t huge if the Texans could draft him in the final round, and the reward is much greater than the risk, and that can’t be said about the higher choices in this draft.

If the Houston Texans want to find a player they want to build up and gradually prepare for a spot on the roster, Sterk could be a great player to place on the practice squad and have him learn from the likes of J.J. Watt and others for a season.

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Wherever Sterk ends up in the NFL, he’s going to be an interesting player to keep track of. Maybe he’ll end up with the Texans, and all of us can watch him progress into a quality NFL player and have that dream story of going from being a Day 3 selection to being on an NFL roster.