Texas-sized steal

Louis Nix joins Jadaveon Clowney, the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, and J.J. Watt, the 2012 NFL Defensive MVP, up front in Houston…

Louis Nix played in the shadow of Manti Te'o in 2012 and shined. In his rookie season in the NFL, Nix will again accompany star power, joining the best of the best up front in Houston.

Nix, Notre Dame's "1B" in terms of value behind Te'o for Notre Dame's rock-solid defense in 2012, endured a precipitous fall in the ongoing NFL Draft. It likely worked out for the best as the future Texans tackle joins 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and the top pick of the current draft, Jadaveon Clowney, in Houston.

"I fell. Some people had me first (round), but who cares?" Nix told ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli. "I got drafted. A lot of people can't say that."

Friday night, Nix fell into Houston's lap, and the NFL's best defensive line for the 2014 season took shape as a result.

Drafted into an ideal situation, Nix found his way to the Texans when Houston traded its fourth-round selection, No. 101 overall, and its fifth-rounder (No. 141) to move up for Nix, who'll join defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and new head coach Bill O'Brien in restocking a Texans defense that ranked 24th in the NFL last season after finishing 10th in 2012

Nix joins teammates Zack Martin (No. 16 to Dallas), Stephon Tuitt (No. 46 to Pittsburgh), Troy Niklas (No. 52 to Arizona), and Chris Watt (No. 89 to San Diego) as Irish players drafted through the first three rounds.

The quintet marks the highest total for the program through the draft's first three rounds since seven were selected in 1994 following an 11-1, 1993 season.


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