Lopez Hopes To Shine During His Rookie Training Camp
Photo Credit/Houston Texans
The new scheme Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith is installing daily at training camp as Houston transitions from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense has caused a lot of competition along the defensive line. It has made every rep very important as coaches are going back and really evaluating the talent that they have on the team, looking to see who is ready to play continuous snaps on the defensive side of the ball.
One player who hopes to get his name called is sixth round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Roy Lopez. He was selected with the Texans final pick at 195th overall out of the University of Arizona.
The 6’2- 318-pound defensive lineman understands he has a long shot of making this team with the amount of veterans that Houston has at the defensive line position, but he competes as if he is already a starter.
Lopez, 23, has taken most snaps with the third unit throughout the five days of camp, but his chance will come when the players put on pads on Tuesday.
Here are a couple of things I have observed from Lopez through five days of training camp:
His low center of gravity has allowed him to use his size to his advantage to create leverage. He has developed a quicker reaction to the snap of the ball in the off-season which may help him shine as camp continues.
Needs To Get Stronger
One thing that has been very noticeable about Lopez is his lack of strength to overpower offensive lineman. During Monday’s practice he was able to be contained by whichever lineman he lined up in front of. He was explosive off the ball as I mentioned earlier, but once the lineman was able to get his hands on him, they took him out of the play.
Lopez will be one of the players I will be watching closely to see how he progresses throughout camp. The competition is very tough, and he may end up starting the season on the practice squad.