04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 4/126 - Jared Crick, DE, 6-4, 279, Nebraska...A steal in the fourth round after missing his last seven games with a torn pectoral muscle. He'll play end in the three-man front, then move inside and become part of the rotation in passing situations. - The Sports Xchange
Crick decided to return to Nebraska rather than join last year's draft, but his senior season was literally painful.
He sprained a knee in spring practice and had a series of injuries during the season until he was sidelined for good in October with a torn pectoral muscle. He was still not mended enough to do the bench press at the Combine. Crick finished his career No. 8 on the school's sack list with 20, including 9.5 each in 2009 and 2010.
A former Nebraska prep track (shot put) and football sensation, Crick ignored offers from all over the country when he considered only Nebraska.
Pro scouts do not see him as a pure pass rusher, but rather as a 3-4 end and he was invited to the Combine as a defensive end. He plays with excellent technique and wins most hand fights, but lacks the foot speed to be a real pass rush threat.
Pass rush: Not an elite pass rusher. Sacks come with relentless effort, not initial quickness or varied pass-rush moves. Can swim over leaning guards to get into the backfield. Works toward the quarterback throughout the play, closes to the passer quickly for his size. Defeats cut blocks, jumps over blockers to chase down the ball. Uses his height and long arms to bat down passes.
Run defense: Assignment-sure defender. Holds up his man with extended arms, stays with the block down the line and sheds in pursuit. Anchors with lean and leverage to hold the line. Good hustle to chase stretch plays. Fights through double teams and doesn't over-extend against mobile quarterbacks.
Explosion: A tough assignment who gets production with effort and hand play, not an elite first step. Does not bull rush blockers into the backfield with a strong punch. Could be a nose/under tackle 'tweener for 4-3 teams due to a lack of explosiveness off the snap.
Strength: One of the toughest players in the class to move whether one-on-one or double-teamed. Very strong hands to rip off blocks. Gets good lean into the blocker and maintains the line.
Tackling: Secure tackler with closing speed and fair change of direction ability for his height and frame. Breaks down to tackle has the strong upper body to keep ballcarriers from wriggling free. Sniffs out screens, agile enough to chase down back to negate the play. Chases plays to the sideline or downfield. Will leave his feet to wrap.
Intangibles: Lunch-pail worker on and off the field who is becoming a more vocal leader as he matures. Wore sleeve on his right elbow in 2010. Missed spring 2011 practice with knee injury and suffered a torn pectoral muscle after five games.