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Alabama in the Pros

Texans GM raves about the influence of Nick Saban on previous drafts

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and LB Will Anderson share a smile together after an Iron Bowl victory over Auburn
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans catapulted back into playoff contention this past season thanks to the efforts of its stellar rookie draft class led by CJ Stround and Will Anderson.

Anderson is one of several former Alabama players on the Texans roster, all of which have played a role in the team’s resurgence and not all have been added at the top of the draft like Anderson was.

Much of that can be attributed to the great insight former Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has given to the Texans as the team’s general manager Nick Caserio praised the seven-time national champion when speaking with the media at the NFL Combine.

“Nick is great to talk to,” Caserio said. “It’s similar to Bill (Belichick) in some respects. They have such a library and a history of players that you can benchmark against one another. You’re talking about two of the best minds in football so I’ve had a number of conversations with coach Saban before the draft, not only the last year, but previous years, and his insight is very valuable and useful.”

Other former Alabama players selected by Caserio include second-round wide receiver John Metchie, third-round linebacker Christian Harris and fifth-round linebacker Henry To’oto’o. The team also signed former Alabama defensive back Kareem Jackson at the end of last season who played under Saban from 2007-09.

The Crimson Tide roots also reside on the coaching staff with head coach DeMeco Ryans, who didn’t play under Saban but is one of the best linebackers produced by the school.

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