Texans sign rookie DE Solomon Byrd

The Houston Texans welcomed nine new players to the roster via the 2024 NFL draft last month. Six have signed their rookie contracts ahead of Friday’s minicamp, including USC defensive end Solomon Byrd.

Byrd and the Texans agreed to terms on a four-year deal worth $4.12 million with a roughly $100,000 signing bonus, according to KPRC2 Sports’ Aaron Wilson.

Byrd, the Texans’ seventh-round pick, should compete with former TCU standout Dylan Horton as the team’s No. 5 pass-rusher behind Will Anderson Jr., Danielle Hunter, Denico Autry, and Derek Barnett.

After spending four seasons at Wyoming, Byrd elected to transfer to USC for his final two years of eligibility. In 2023, he led the Trojans with 11 tackles for losses and finished third among all FBS players with four forced fumbles.

In 12 games, Byrd had 49 tackles and six sacks. He also earned an honorable-mention All-Pac-12 selection in 2023.

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar is high on Byrd’s upside as a situational pass-rusher for the Texans in 2024, naming him Houston’s top ‘sleeper pick’ of the draft.

This offseason, the Texans got that much closer to a Super Bowl defense by adding Danielle Hunter to their edge-rush profile with a two-year, $49 million contract with $48 million guaranteed. Hunter is a perfect complement to Will Anderson, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the year, as Hunter’s game is about speed and bend, while Anderson is all about power to the pocket.

To double down on that speed/bend thing, Houston also selected USC end Solomon Byrd with the 238th pick in the seventh round. That pick could pay off far past its value. Last season for the Trojans, the Wyoming transfer totaled seven sacks and 41 total pressures on 320 pass-rushing reps. There’s not much to say about Byrd as a run defender, but then again, the Texans probably won’t line him up inside 20% of the time in 3-man fronts as the Trojans did for whatever reason.

With Byrd, you put him on the outside in a rotation and let him hunt… or you let him use his formidable gap quickness on stunts and games. No reason to overthink it. – Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire