With their second third-round draft pick on Friday, the Texans selected LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery at No. 95 overall.
The Texans will use Montgomery (6-3, 262) as an outside linebacker. They plan to try him on the strongside first to potentially form a three-man rotation with starters Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus.
"He's a big, strong, powerful, explosive individual," Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring said. "His play strength is exceptional; it's above average. As far as the run game, he has that play strength that you need to play early in this league. I think he'll blend in well as far as the run game and setting the edge in our package. He does bring an element of rush off the edge that is probably undeveloped and raw, but he has the basic ingredients, and that is he can rush speed to power. The play strength will help him make the transition quicker than later."
Montgomery was a third-team All-American in 2012, when he had 8.0 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, and 2011, when he had 9.0 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He had at least one sack in seven games as a redshirt junior in 2012 and at least half a sack in eight games in 2011.
"The one thing that he will have to learn is that he will have to learn to drop a little bit and things that he hasn't done as a defensive end at LSU," Herring said. "They don't cultivate OLBs in college, so we have to pull from the defensive end position… That's something we'll have to work on."
The 22-year-old Montgomery was teammates with safety D.J. Swearinger, the Texans' second-round draft pick, at Greenwood High School in South Carolina. His nickname is "Sonic Sam," a nod to the video game "Sonic the Hedgehog."
Montgomery said he's prepared to train his hardest for whatever role the Texans ask of him. He described his best quality as "effort, being relentless and just never giving up."
"I'm so ready," Montgomery said of joining the Texans' defense. "I know the Ninja (Texans defensive end Antonio Smith) is there. I met the guys and I've got a real great feel for the place. I know I felt like home there. I love the coaching staff, and I'm ready to help those guys win games."
Mongtomery was acquired with the compensatory pick that the Texans were awarded for losing Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel, Joel Dreessen and Jason Allen as free agents in 2011.
Texans 2013 draft picks
Round 1, Pick 27 (27 overall): WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Round 2, Pick 25 (57): S D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina
Round 3, Pick 27 (89): T Brennan Williams, North Carolina
Round 3, Pick 33 (95): DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Round 4, Pick 27 (124)
Round 5, Pick 27 (160)
Round 6, Pick 27 (195)
Round 6, Pick 33 (201)
Round 7, Pick 27 (233)