The Houston Texans traded back into the second round Friday night to select Penn State center Juice Scruggs with the 62nd overall pick. Scruggs, who got his nickname as a baby when he refused to drink milk, now hopes to bring the juice to the Texans.
"I'm bringing physicality," Scruggs said. "I'm bringing somebody that's going to come off the ball every play and give everything you got, every snap. And I'm just ready to learn, ready to get dive in the playbook, get going. And I'm just excited to get to know the guys, man. I'm just ready to go. Can't wait."
Scruggs (6-3, 301) started 13 games at center for the Nittany Lions last year, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention by coaches and media and the Dick Maginnis Memorial Award, recognizing the most outstanding offensive lineman. During the pre-draft process, Scruggs had an impressive week leading up to the East-West Shrine game in February.
"He's a player that our staff really liked," General Manager Nick Caserio said Friday night. "Multi-position player, played center, more center than guard but has some position flexibility on the interior. Great kid, you'll learn about his story but had dealt with some adversity there early on in his life. Really worked his ass off to try and get to the point where he could actually go out there and be a productive player."
In 2019, Scruggs suffered a major back injury in a car accident. During his recovery, he assisted the offensive line coaches.
"When I got hurt, I was just always in the back with the coaches and I was just listening to see what they were talking about, just seeing how they operate," Scruggs said. "And it was just cool getting to sit back and look at that from their perspective to see how the game is. I learned a lot, like formations, just learning everything about just the whole offense and not just the o-line. So it really benefited me when I was hurt, just sitting back and observing and I was really just learning all the plays and I would just do the hand signals from time to time. Yeah, it was cool. It was like basically I was got to be a coach for a little bit."
Scruggs redshirted the 2018 season after playing one game off the bench and finished with 25 starts for Penn State. The Texans traded with the Eagles to select Scruggs, moving up from the 65th pick to the 62nd pick. The 188th and 230th pick were also included in the trade to get Scruggs.