NEW YORK (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans traded up with the Philadelphia Eagles and selected Louis Nix DT Notre Dame.
The trade gave the Texans 4 picks in the first 83 of the NFL draft. The Texans gave up the first picks in the 4th and 5th rounds to move up 13 spots and get Nix.
The Florida native comes from a tough background, but the 325-pounder has a bright football future if he stays dedicated to the game. Nix was highly recruited out of high school and chose Notre Dame over several in-state programs, including Florida, Florida State and Miami (Fla.).
After redshirting in 2010, he started 11 games as a first-year player at the nose guard position, anchoring the middle of the Irish’s three-man front. Nix finished with 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack.
After a breakthrough 2012, Nix was overweight to start the ’13 season. Just as he started to round into shape, he missed two games with knee tendinitis that ultimately turned out to be a torn meniscus. When healthy, Nix displayed the unique blend of power and burst that has earned him first round buzz throughout much of his career.
He earned All-Independent first team honors from the media, and hired an agent in December to prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft despite ongoing rehab for his knee injury – which was due to require platelet-rich plasma therapy and surgery after the 2013 season, according to Irish coach Brian Kelly.
Nix has struggled with the pressure and expectations of playing for a high-profile program away from home, but he also flashes a rare skill-set for a player his size and strength.
Add the hustle, competitive drive and love of football and Nix presents an enticing prospect for NFL evaluators and he will receive attention by teams drafting in the top 10. The knee injury does create some concern, but few prospects have his combination of fluid athleticism, natural power and sheer size.