NEW YORK (HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans kicked off the 6th round of the NFL Draft by selecting Jeoffrey Pagan with the 177th pick overall.
Like virtually every other member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Pagan signed with Nick Saban as one of the most highly regarded prep prospects in the country, receiving offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina and Southern Cal, among others. Pagan served as a key part of the rotation but did not start during his first two seasons with the team, recording a total of 26 tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 19 games over that time. He emerged as a starter this past season, earning the nod in 12 of 13 games for the Tide and recording a career-high 34 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Despite a disappointing loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl and the likelihood of improving his stock with another year of development, Pagan elected to leave early for the NFL. Pagan received a third round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee and likely was counseled by Nick Saban and his coaches to return for his senior season at Tuscaloosa. Saban generally advises players to return unless they are given a first round grade from scouts. Pagan cited a severe knee injury during his senior season of high school football, however, as the main reason for his early declaration. The same traits that earned Pagan his lofty prep grades will excite NFL scouts. Pagan projects best as a defensive end in a traditional 3-4 alignment or at defensive tackle in a four-man front due to his size and strength. He offers little in terms of pass rush ability.