Houston Texans 2022 NFL draft target: South Carolina DE Kingsley Enagbare

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Edge defense is a long-term question mark for the Houston Texans, and it would have been that way even if the club elected to retain three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.

With the club shifting to a Tampa 2 scheme with a 4-3 front, the Texans have to change up what they are looking for in an edge defender. For 2021, outside linebackers Whitney Mercilus, Jonathan Greenard, and Jacob Martin will line up in three-point stances along with Shaq Lawson.

However, the Texans may need to find better answers at defensive end going forward.

Enter South Carolina defensive end Kingsley Enagbare. The senior from Atlanta, Georgia, earned all-SEC first-team last season with 6.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles through eight games. Enagbare is the second-best edge defender in Pro Football Focus’ early 2022 NFL draft rankings.

Enagbare is a violent 6-foot-4, 260-pound edge rusher who can win with quicks or pure power. He was one of the biggest breakout performers in the SEC last season, going from a 68.4 pass-rushing grade in 2019 to 89.2 in 2020.

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Aside from the obvious physical tools Enagbare possesses, his biggest selling point is simply the way he plays the game. The defensive end plays with his hair on fire snap after snap, and it’s not uncommon to see him tracking down quarterbacks outside the pocket or downfield.

We only got to see eight games out of him in 2020, so he’s a player we need to see more of to be truly sold. Enagbare is only scratching the surface of what he can be with more consistency.

The Texans could find themselves in a position where they take a quarterback with a top-5 pick, and still have a top-5 pick in the second round. If Enagbare slips that far, the Texans should consider taking him to provide youth and talent to their defensive line.