In the wake of the 2020 NFL Draft, seven former members of the North Carolina football team will enter the professional ranks with a chance to make an NFL roster as rookies.
Two players — offensive tackle Charlie Heck and defensive end Jason Strowbridge — were selected during the draft’s seven rounds, while four more signed with teams as undrafted free agents and one received a training camp invite.
The first player to go was Heck, who was picked up by the Houston Texans in the fourth round. Heck was a force in his final year as a Tar Heel, allowing only one-third of a sack all season and leading the team with 43 knockdowns. Under Heck’s leadership, the offensive line blossomed, contributing to an attack that averaged 285.8 passing yards and 188.2 rushing yards per game, good for third and fourth in the ACC, respectively, and earning Heck second-team All-ACC honors in 2019.
Heck is entering a Texans team that needs offensive line help. For the last two years, Houston has finished in the bottom half of the league in both adjusted line yards — a measurement of the offensive line’s contribution to the run game — and sacks, allowing 45 in 2019 and a league-worst 62 in 2018.
With some improvement, Heck could develop into Houston’s swing tackle of the future and improve a struggling offensive line.