TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NFL

Texans open second round by taking UCLA guard Su'a-Filo

{eot}
The Canadian Press
5/9/2014 8:33:39 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

HOUSTON -- Xavier Su'a-Filo had a two-year layoff between his first season of football at UCLA and his final two years, thanks to a Mormon mission.

The guard, taken by the Texans with the first pick in the second round on Friday night, believes the time off helped him improve as a player and a person.

"Obviously I was away from the game for two years, but I think it helped me be physically more mature and mentally more mature and helped me just become a better football player," he said. "When I came back I was an older guy. I was more suited to be a leader at UCLA. I look at it all positive."

Despite a need at quarterback, the Texans went with another position again after selecting defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night. They continued that trend in the third when they took Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz with the 65th pick. Houston traded the first pick in the fourth round (101st overall) and the first pick in the fifth round (141) to the Eagles to move up and select Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix at No. 83.

Despite their need at quarterback, the Texans have also drafted defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick and guard Xavier Su'a-Filo in the second round and picked up tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz with the 65th overall pick.

Nix started eight games in 2013 and finished with 27 tackles and two tackles for losses.

Houston general manager Rick Smith said Friday night that he still believes there are some good quarterbacks left in the draft.

"We've done a lot of work on quarterbacks throughout the process because it is a position -- we'd like to be able to draft quarterbacks and develop young quarterbacks and that's certainly something that we want to do," Smith said. "But we will always do that with corresponding value. So if there's an opportunity for us to do that (Saturday), we certainly will entertain that."

In 2009, Su'a-Filo became the first true freshman in UCLA history to start 13 games before leaving for his mission in Alabama and Florida. He picked up right where he left off in 2012 when he started 14 games at left guard for an offence that averaged 466.5 yards a game.

He split time between left guard and left tackle last season and won the Morris Trophy as the Pac 12's top offensive lineman. Su'a-Filo isn't sure how the Texans will use him, but he's looking forward to showcasing his versatility in Houston.

"I can play either," he said. "I just want to get in there and I want to compete and contribute and help the team as best as I can."

Fiedorowicz had 30 receptions for 299 yards and six touchdowns last season. Houston re-signed tight end Garrett Graham this off-season, but lost tight end Owen Daniels in free agency. The 6-5, 265-pound Fiedorowicz said he has always looked up to New England tight end Rob Gronkowski and that despite his own skill as a blocker he wants to prove he can be a well-rounded tight end.

"I feel like I'm going to really prove to everybody that I'm a dual-threat," he said. "I'm going to catch the ball, I'm going to block on the edge and do everything (O'Brien) asks."

Su'a-Filo has fashioned his game after veteran New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins and raved about his skills.

"I love the way he plays," Su'a-Filo said. "I think he's physical. I think he's nasty. You know, I try to implement as much from his game that I can."

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Su'a-Filo, perhaps unsurprisingly, is looking forward to the culinary delights in Houston.

"The whole state of Texas is pretty great, but I'm looking forward to eating at Pappadeaux and Whataburger," he said of the Houston-based Cajun restaurant and the burger-chain, which started in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Nix started eight games in 2013 and finished with 27 tackles and two tackles for losses.

He can't wait to join a defensive line with 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and Clowney.

"I never thought ever in life that would happen," Nix said. "I'm super excited."

Xavier Su'a-Filo (Photo: William Mancebo/Getty Images Sport)

zoom

(Photo: William Mancebo/Getty Images Sport)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Round-by-Round Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, and Aeneas Williams, headlined this year's Hall of Fame class. More...

Podcasts

TSN 1050: Gamenight: July 22 - John Kryk

NFL Columnist John Kryk of Sun Media joins Gamenight to give his training camp rundown of the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Giants.

TSN 1050 - Gameday: Matt Florjancic - July 6th

Matt Florjancic of WKYC Sports in Cleveland joined Andy McNamara to discuss the arrest of Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel, and LeBron James.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Eric Macramella - June 18

TSN Radio Legal Analyst Eric Macramella joined Jim Tatti and Andy McNamara to talk Redskins and the trademark of the name being revoked.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television