5 players the Houston Texans are looking at with the 12th pick
By Peter Manfre
Nolan Smith, Edge Georgia
Nolan Smith, though undersized at 6'3 243 lbs, was an absolute game-wrecker for the championship George defense. A defense that produced five first-round picks last year and is projected a few more this year. Per Pro Football Focus, Smith had a pressure rate of 25% and a run-stop rate of 14.6%. Those are very productive numbers and show you why he could go this high in the draft.
He's flying up boards due to his extreme effectiveness on that Georgia defense as well as his superb combine results. What scouts love most about Smith is his leadership and insane athletic ability. At the NFL combine, Smith shocked everyone by running a 4.39-second 40 yd dash. That's an insanely fast time for a defensive end. It's fast for a wide receiver, no less.
Combine stats aside, Smith seems to be the type of leader on a defense that Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans would look for. Smith has been renowned to be a vocal leader, as well as a leader who leads by action and example through his efforts on a defense that during his tenure was stacked. Being the vocal leader inside a defensive line room that featured three first-round picks last year and another in Jalen Carter this year says something.