Gaine, O’Brien pleased with Day 2 picks

The Texans added three new players to their roster during Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft. With two picks in the second round, Houston selected Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. with the 54th overall pick and then Northern Illinois offensive tackle Max Scharping 55th overall.

“Lonnie Johnson, a player we’ve obviously studied through the fall," general manager Brian Gaine said. "Outside cornerback with excellent height, weight, speed. Six-foot-one and change, 210 pounds, 4.40 (40-yard dash), played very well in the Senior Bowl and matched up versus some very good competition. Played very well in the Bowl game. Very aggressive in run support. He can play perimeter press coverage, can play man coverage. We’re excited to have him."

Scharping became the second offensive lineman taken in this year’s draft class. Alabama State tackle Tytus Howard was Houston’s first-round selection. The 6-6, 327-pound Scharping brings not only size, but intellect with a master’s degree he earned in December. He stared 53 consecutive games, every game of his career from 2015-2018 and helped pave the way for eight 100-yard rushing games last season. Through the MAC championship game, Scharping earned a 92.2 percent pass-blocking grade and allowed just eight quarterback pressures per PFF’s statistics.

“Max Scharping, very versatile offensive lineman, starting left tackle, team captain material, outstanding football character, big man, fits our parameters – the height, weight, speed," Gaine said. "Both of those players fit all the prototypical standards we’re looking for and equally in the intangible profile from the football character standpoint, so they fit our program well.” 

The Texans finished their Day 2 draft selections by adding San Diego State tight end Kahale Warring with the third-round pick (86th overall). Gaine believes the ceiling is high for the 6-5, 252-pound multi-dimensional athlete who also excelled at water polo and basketball.

“All these guys that we drafted, we’re really excited them,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “We feel like they really fit what we’re looking for from a skillset standpoint, from a character standpoint.”

The Texans have three draft picks remaining: a fifth-round (161st overall), sixth-round (195th overall) and a seventh-round selection (220th overall). The 2019 NFL Draft concludes on Saturday, April. 27.

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