HOUSTON — Not lengthy after the Houston Texans traded up within the third spherical of final month’s draft, the crew posted a video on Twitter of coach Lovie Smith and common supervisor Nick Caserio hugging after a choose.
The choice? Houston had traded up 5 spots to draft Alabama linebacker Christian Harris, sending picks Nos. 80 and 162 to the Denver Broncos for choose No. 75.
“I don’t suppose anyone was extra ecstatic than Lovie about that choose,” Caserio stated that night time.
Throughout rookie minicamp Friday, Smith joked that he wanted to look at what he stated and did when the cameras have been rolling. He added that he and Caserio, “have been high-fiving on most of our draft picks.”
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“We like Christian,” Smith stated. “So much. We had him ranked excessive on our board. … We thought he would go a bit earlier. To have a chance to get him in that spherical the place we did was thrilling.”
Harris stated his mother confirmed him the video of the hug and admitted it was “fairly cool to see.”
“I assumed it was humorous,” Harris stated. “I used to be laughing.”
On draft night time, Caserio stated Harris “match the profile when it comes to what we wish at linebacker.”
Harris stated after assembly with Smith on his go to to Houston in the course of the pre-draft course of he “truthfully fell in love with” the top coach’s protection.
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“It’s type of powerful as a result of going via that complete course of, like you possibly can’t choose the place you go,” Harris stated. “However I knew if I have been to come back right here, it might be the right match for me.”
Harris pointed to the success linebackers have had in Smith’s protection as one of many causes he’s excited. Smith, who was promoted from defensive coordinator in February, was the linebackers coach in Tampa Bay earlier than he was employed by the St. Louis Rams as their defensive coordinator.
“Simply listening to in regards to the historical past of the linebackers who have been on this related protection which have had success, like Derrick Brooks and LaVonte David,” Harris stated. “These are two guys I watched a bit bit, and clearly I believe with my spot and my function, no matter it’s they need me to do, I really feel like I can have a excessive success price.”
For as excited as Smith was about having the ability to draft Harris, the 21-year-old appeared simply as excited to get to study from the three-time NFL head coach.
“He’s a frontrunner,” Harris stated of Smith. “A father determine. He’s a fantastic man. For me, these two days simply sitting there and having the ability to discuss to one of many biggest has been type of loopy and legendary. It’s positively a blessing.
“I’m about to select his mind as a lot as I presumably can whereas I’m right here.”