The Houston Texans ended their 2021 NFL Draft by selecting defensive tackle Roy Lopez out of Arizona with the 195th overall pick.
And yet … there are expectations.
In a recent video published by the Texans, both general manager Nick Caserio and co-assistant director of player personnel James Liipfert spoke about Lopez and what it was about the former Wildcat that drew them to him.
"He's a very successful wrestler and really, wrestling is about positioning, it's about leverage and playing defensive tackle is a lot of the same things," said Caserio. "It's about technique, it's about hand placement, it's really about pad level so some of those skills actually translate over into football and you're able to see some of that in Roy's play. Strong player, an instinctive player, probably a bit more of a run player than a pass player and again, a really high-character, football character, football work ethic and a toughness and a grit about him, which is something that we liked."
At 6-2 and 318 pounds, Lopez plays with surprising speed and agility for his size. And while not the tallest of defensive linemen, his aggression and power stand out from the work 'go.'
"We had known of the player in New Mexico State as a junior in '19, we keep tabs on him, he grad transfers to Arizona played five games this year, showed strength, toughness, leverage," said Liipfert.
Lopez, 23, will bring his blend of toughness, leverage and grit to a rebuilding and remodelling Texans front seven that could use an anchor to build around.
His draft status was not high. But the expectations? They do exist.
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