D.J. Reader Proving He Can Be a Complete Player In The Trenches for the Houston Texans

Patrick D. Starr

Houston Texans D.J. Reader continues to prove that the organization made the right choice in the 2016 NFL Draft by selecting him in the 5th round. Reader has evolved his game, and after putting together another solid game against the Atlanta Falcons with three tackles and 1.0 sacks, he has already set a career-high in sacks with 2.5 in just five games this season. 

When Reader came out of Clemson, many felt he was a two-down run-stuffing player and a career back up at the NFL level. According to one scout on his draft profile at NFL.com is read as follows.

Just a plugger. He looks good at the Senior Bowl in one­-on­-one drills because he's stronger than these guys, but scouts tell me that in games he's limited." -- NFC defensive line coach

Reader has proved his worth to the Texans over the years, and he has improved his game to the point that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is leaving him in during critical pass-rush situations. His presence on pushing the pocket is one of the reasons why the Texans have 15.0 total sacks on the season tying them with the 2011 and 2012 teams for most through Week 5 in franchise history.

Head coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with the work Reader has put in to start the season. 

"He's played well over the years," O'Brien said of Reader. "I mean, he's played very well. He's playing a very high level right now. He's doing a great job against the run with his technique, his footwork, his pad level, his hand usage, his footwork. And then he's rushing the passer. He's given us some juice up inside, and he's playing very well."

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