San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin had to wait until Day 3 of the NFL Draft to hear his name called, but he was the fifth overall running back taken in this year's draft. On Saturday, with the 119th pick of the draft, the Houston Texans selected him.
As a senior for the Spartans, Ervin ran for 1,601 yards on 294 carries with 13 touchdowns on the ground, had 45 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns and added another touchdown on returns. Overall, Ervin played 47 games with 24 starts and goes down as the Spartans' career all-time all-purpose yardage record holder with 6,146 yards.
The Houston Texans have a total of six running backs on their roster as of now. In recent years, however, only Arian Foster (when healthy) ever established himself as "the guy" for the Texans. Foster was released by the franchise last month. Prior to drafting Ervin, the Texans added Miami Dolphins running back Lama Miller through free agency. On Saturday, they also drafted running back Kenny Hilliard of LSU in the seventh round.
The running backs vying for spots include returners Alfred Blue (698 rushing yards in 2015-16), Jonathan Grimes (282 rushing yards in 15-16) and Akeem Hunt (96 rushing yards in 15-16), along with newcomers Lamar Miller (872 rushing yards for Miami in 15-16) and Kenny Hilliard (rookie).
The Texans went 9-7 in both of their last two seasons and earned a playoff appearance earlier this year. This offseason Houston added quarterback Brock Osweiler to stabilize the position and appear to have made the running back spot another priority by adding Ervin, Miller and Hilliard.
As it stands, Ervin will make his preseason NFL debut in the Bay Area. The Texans kickoff their preseason slate at San Francisco on Aug. 14. Ervin and the Texans will return to the Bay Area in Week 11 on the NFL season for a Monday Night Football showdown at the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 21.
The 6-foot-5 and 315-pound O-Lineman started 37 consecutive games as a Spartan, lining up at left tackle. Schweitzer was a Second-Team All Mountain West selection and served as a team captain this past season. He was the leader of the offensive line that helped running back Tyler Ervin have one of the best rushing seasons in the nation. Ervin was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
Schweitzer was the only offensive lineman taken by the Falcons in the 2016 draft. The Falcons' offensive line coach is Chris Morgan. Morgan's coaching stops include an early stint with the Idaho Vandals and more recently with the Oakland Raiders. Morgan is assisted by Keith Carter, who was San Jose State's offensive line coach and run game coordinator in 2014. Schweitzer started all 12 games in 2014.
Atlanta allowed 32 sacks in 2015, good for 10th best in the NFL. The Falcons were 19th in rushing yards last season.
Last year, the Atlanta Falcons also drafted San Jose State's Akeem King in the seventh round. Schweitzer became the fifth Spartan drafted under SJSU Head Coach Ron Caragher over the past three years.
The Atlanta Falcons make one trip to the Bay Area in 2016, a Week 2 matchup at the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 18. Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, the Falcons do host the Arizona Cardinals in 2016, but will appear not too far away from his hometown in a Dec. 11 matchup at the Los Angeles Rams.
Shortly after the draft two other Spartans earned an opportunity to make a roster. Cornerback Cleveland Wallace will be joining Tyler Ervin with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent. Long snapper Ryan Di Salvo will also get a shot with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent.
Editor’s Note: Defensive back Jimmy Pruitt has also since earned a tryout with the Houston Texans.