Max Scharping is headed to the fourth largest city in the United States.
The Wisconsin native heard his name called Friday night in Nashville while the Houston Texans selected him as the 55th overall pick of the NFL Draft’s second round. Scharping is the ninth offensive tackle off the board and the second OT picked by the Texans.
Houston selected Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard — the first non-FBS prospect of the draft — with the 23rd overall pick on Thursday night.
Scharping, a 6’6” and 327 pound lineman, started all 53 of Northern Illinois’ games from 2015-18. He was a three-time First Team All-MAC selection, earning the honor as a right tackle in 2016 and as a left tackle in 2017 and 2018. He has valuable experience at three different positions on the offensive line, the third being right guard which he played as a freshman. Scharping saw plenty of success in all four years anchoring NIU’s line, including in 2017 where he allowed zero sacks for the Huskies.
He is a powerful blocker with ideal build and managed to record 27 bench press reps of 225 at the NFL Combine. Off the field, he was just as successful and was named as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the “Academic Heisman.”
Scharping joins a very inexperienced Texans offensive line and could feasibly be a day one starter (possibly at guard). Julién Davenport and Seantrel Henderson are the current starters at tackle on the Texans depth chart. Davenport started 13 games at left tackle and two at right in 2018, while Henderson suffered a season-ending ankle injury after just one start at right tackle as a Texan.
Scharping is the first Northern Illinois of the 2019 NFL Draft and the second player from the MAC. He became the sixth Huskie to be drafted this decade and the first since wide receiver Kenny Golladay in 2017. As a second round pick, Scharping is the highest Northern Illinois draft pick since Jimmie Ward landed in the first round of the 2014 draft.