Clint Sintim (Getty Images)
The New York Giants proved in their championship run two years ago that you simply cannot have too many pass rushers. The Texans struggled mightily getting to the quarterback a year ago even with Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams. Find out which pass rusher the Texans may be enticed to take early in the draft.
University of Virginia defensive end/outside linebacker Clint Sintim is a player who can certainly help the Texans pass rush. The 6’3”, 249 lb. rusher is considered to be somewhat of a tweener, as he is a little light to play with his hand on the ground, but he has experience in a 3-4 scheme as he played outside linebacker in college. Still, Sintim doesn’t see himself solely as an outside linebacker.
“I wouldn’t go so far to say I’m a 3-4 OLB,” Sintim said. “I was a 3-4 OLB in college, right now I’m just looking for a job.”
Sintim will likely be able to make the transition to the pro game easier than most, due to him playing under UVA head coach Al Groh, a former NFL coach.
“That’s one of the great things about playing at UVA with Coach Groh,” Sintim said. “The 3-4 allowed me to do a lot of things that a lot of guys in college didn’t do. Coach Groh coming from the NFL understands the 3-4 defense and really trained us up very well. It gave me an opportunity to stack the TE, and rush the passer, play out in the slot, a number of different things that DE’s do as well. It kind of puts me a step ahead of people, but at the same part it’s still a learning process and I’m still learning parts of other defenses.”
Although the Texans have been a 4-3 team, they do have personnel that could employ either a full-time switch or at the very least a hybrid system.
As a senior, Sintim earned second team all-ACC honors as he recorded 69 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, three passes defensed, one forced fumble, and four quarterback hurries. Sintim has good height and better than average speed, but he admits he’s not the fastest lineman on the field.
“I think I’m a solid pass rusher, I think I use my hands pretty efficiently and I’m able to swat down the tackle’s hands and bend that corner a little bit,” Sintim said when asked about his strengths. “I’m not a Dwight Freeney coming off the edge, I’m not extremely fast but at the same time I do have a burst coming off the edge and I do try to make things happen out there.”
Sintim knows that rushing the passer is how you get the most attention at the next level and thus financially rewarded.
“It’s a great opportunity to come out there and rush the passer and everybody knows that is the way you can make a lot of money (in the NFL).”
Sintim began the draft process as a second-day pick, but has now worked himself into a first-day lock, and some mocks have him as high as the late first round.
“I’m just trying to come out here and showcase my ability and hopefully open up some eyes,” Sintim told Scout.com prior to the combine.
If things shake out properly for Houston, Sintim could be available when they pick in the second round, and if his name hasn’t been called, he would almost certainly represent the best player available.
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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