HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Seventh-round draft picks aren’t usually expected to have lengthy NFL careers.
Derek Newton is proving to be a positive anomaly of that assumption.
On Monday, the Texans made it official. They had re-signed their right tackle. Reported figures of his deal are for $26.5 million dollars over five years, with $10 million of that figure guaranteed.
Newton was drafted in the seventh round, 214th overall, in the 2011 draft out of Arkansas State. He has started 46 games over the last three seasons for Houston. This past year, Pro Football Focus gave Newton the highest run-blocking grade among the league’s right tackles this season. PFF also ranked Newton 19th overall among tackles in the league.
It’s pretty clear his hard work has been rewarded.
“This is great, man,” Newton said. “(The Texans have) believed in me from Day One when I got drafted. So each year, it was, ‘Okay, Newt’s in the fire. What is Newt going to do?’ So I just had to step in early while I was young. I had a lot of great players around me to grow off of and here I am now, hitting my fifth year, still with the same team that I got drafted with. It’s pretty big.”
Newton’s signing is a victory for all those who have been underestimated, whether they get undrafted or get drafted in the latter rounds like Newton did. He also came from a smaller school. Newton has a message for all those working to get their day in the sun.
“Just keep working, man,” Newton said. “Don’t let (anybody) tell you what you can’t do. Keep you head up and keep rolling.”
As for what his first purchase after the sizable salary bump?
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Newton said. “Fam(ily) always comes first. Then, it’s me, but I’m going to find something to buy myself, some kind of toy to play with, but other than that, fam(ily) first.”