HOUSTON – The Texans have agreed to terms on a four-year, $4.64 million contract with fourth-round defensive end Dylan Horton, according to a league source.
The deal includes an $801,044 signing bonus.
A former safety and outside linebacker, Horton had four sacks, a forced fumble and broke up a pass in a win over Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl. He played running back, safety and wide receiver growing up. Horton has drawn high marks as a fluid pass rusher with a repertoire of moves.
“I feel like the fact that I have the background makes me more versatile, working closer to the ball,” Horton said. “Each time I learned a position, I learned ways to apply it to the position I’m playing right now. I felt it really helped me get to where I am, understanding concepts and helping me to learn new things.
Horton (6-foot-4, 263 pounds) is a Frisco native who transferred from New Mexico to play for the Horned Frogs.
Horton was 257 pounds at the NFL scouting combine, 262 pounds at his Pro Day and has gained a pound since that workout. He expects to gain more weight with proper nutrition. He has put on weight sensibly, with complex carbohydrates,
“Good player, he’s kind of played a couple different defensive systems, probably best suited at defensive end,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said. “So, he’ll probably be a defensive end in our front. Good size, good length, productive season, had a pretty good Senior Bowl week. He’s kind of played a multiplicity of fronts, kind of end, some inside, really fits more on the edge of the defense. Fits the profile of what we’re trying to do here on the defensive end spot.”
Horton had 10 1/2 sacks last season and led the team with 15 tackles for loss and had 52 overall tackles.
“I’m aggressive, I’m a leader off the field and on the field,” Horton said. “I was a captain last year. That was a great honor. I take that close to my heart. Those were my teammates, my family. Really excited to be a part of this Texans defense.”
He led the team with nine tackles for losses and had four sacks in 2021.
Horton has run the 40-yard dash in 4.74 seconds with a 34-inch vertical leap, a 10-foot broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times.
Horton was born in Houston.
He was an all-district football and basketball player at Frisco High School before signing with New Mexico where he was a reserve linebacker after bulking up 20 pounds. He was a starter for the Lobos before suffering an ankle injury and transferring to TCU, emerging as an honorable-mention All-Big 12 Conference selection.
“The Texans run an aggressive style of defense,” Horton said. “I can contribute in the best possible way.”
Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.