With the 167th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Texans select Alabama Linebacker Henry To'oTo'o. The dynamic linebacker stood out at Tennessee before moving to Alabama and thriving in Nick Saban's defensive scheme. Now he will play under Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, who was also a standout linebacker at Alabama before he was selected by the Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Weight: 227 lb
Here's what John Harris wrote about To'oTo'o:
"He's long and rangy with gap filling/run stopping skills. Feet are constantly hot and that keeps him under control seemingly at all times. He is a factor in coverage and the transition into Nick Saban's defense in 2021 didn't appear difficult at all. Most players entering Alabama's program need a quick minute to find their mental sea legs, but To'oTo'o arrived in Tuscaloosa and hit the ground running.
"He orchestrated the same defensive scheme at Tennessee and, early in the 2021 training camp, I had it on good authority that HE was already The One calling plays, taking the lead and communicating throughout the entire defense.
He's fascinating to watch, in many respects, but he seems to be completely in tune to what the opposing offense is running. Against Cincinnati in the 2021 CFP semifinal, the H-back was tucked in nearly directly behind the left tackle. To'oTo'o spied that set and started gesturing with his hand, like waving across the formation. He was telling fellow linebacker Christian Harris that the H-back was coming back across the formation on a split flow zone play...and he was dead on correct and the Alabama defense stuffed the play as a result.
"To'oTo'o came back to Alabama in 2022, along with Jordan Battle and DeMarcco Hellams among others to take another run at a championship. That didn't happen, but To'oTo'o showed that he was in full command of the Alabama defense for the second straight season. There's a prevailing thought in the scouting world that he can handle any defensive scheme and take charge immediately. He was the personal protector, play caller on the punt team. He's going to start, wearing the green dot, from day one for an NFL team. He doesn't have any elite trait, other than one of the most important ones - he's an alpha leader amongst all the alphas and has an elite football IQ, sharpened along the way at DeLaSalle, Tennessee and Alabama."