Shawn Nelson (Butch Dill/AP)
The Texans appear poised to make a run in 2009 for not only a playoff spot, but a division title. With Tennessee losing its best defensive player in Albert Haynesworth in free agency, Indianapolis having an ever-aging core on offense, and Jacksonville going through complete rebuilding, the Texans could make a run at the division title.
Although Houston is seemingly loaded on offense, they may be able to use a tight end to compliment Owen Daniels, and that player could be Southern Miss’s Shawn Nelson. Nelson entered the Senior Bowl as a relative unknown, at least nationally, and left on everyone’s radar. Nelson caught nearly everything thrown his way during the week of practices, and his athletic ability had coaches and scouts alike whispering his name.
“I think that it pretty much helped me a lot coming from a program where I wasn’t on TV much,” Nelson said about his Senior Bowl experience.
As a senior, Nelson caught 51 passes for 541 yards and three touchdowns, despite having to play with a young, inexperienced quarterback. Nelson was a former three-time all-Conference USA selection, and at 6’5”, 238 lbs., he represents a great target.
Nelson runs in the 4.5 range, and although he is an aggressive run blocker, he could still afford to get stronger, as evidenced by his 19 reps at the combine.
Shawn Nelson (Dave Martin/AP)
“I think I’m a physical, hard working guy,” Nelson said. “I play real hard and I just want to come out here and show everybody I can play.”
Being as fast as Nelson is, and somewhat slight of build at right around 240 lbs., Nelson is seen by some as an H-back, but players such as Kellen Winslow Jr. have succeeded with similar build.
BattleRedNation.com asked Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach-offense Mike Tice, a former NFL tight end himself about Nelson and he had this to say—
“Nelson is a really good player, I like him a lot.”
Shawn Nelson has worked his way from a second-day pick to potentially a second-round pick with his fine skills as a pass catcher. Nelson could help the Texans with their red zone issues if they decide to pull the trigger on him during next month’s draft.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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