The Houston Texans have selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III with the 83rd pick in the NFL Draft.
Nix is a massive defensive tackle who anchored the line last season for the Irish. He weighs in at 331-pounds and is the definition of a space clogger. If you draft him, it will be for his abilities against the run. Simply put, teams were not successful rushing up the middle against Notre Dame last season, and Nix was the reason why.
Nix isn’t nearly as effective as a pass rusher but does have the ability to collapse the pocket up the middle. He does a good job of limiting the maneuverability of opposing quarterbacks but that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.
He is surprisingly fast for a man of his size and gets off the snap with good burst. He has a tendency to show less effort as games wear on, but that is typical for a man of his size. He also fought through a knee injury that eventually needed surgery in 2013 and it hampered his production in his final season at Notre Dame.
He came into the draft as the second best defensive tackle prospect. Many teams took a pass on him, either due to more pressing needs or nervousness about his knee injury. He was fully healed by the NFL Scouting Combine, however, and produced solid results at the event.
There were also some reports that he wasn’t completely focused on football due to his high weight and interest in social media. Teams feared that he would not have the drive to be an effective player in the NFL.
That said, he has the potential to be a Pro Bowler. He is a good fit for the Texans 3-4 scheme and is a prototypical nose tackle for this style of defense. Nix will help anchor the interior of a defense that now features JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.