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2011 NFL Draft: Phillips Thinks J.J. Watt Compares Favorably To Phil Hansen

As J.J. Watt strolls down the walkway to Houston here in an about an hour or so, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has an idea of who he wants Watt to emulate: ex-Bills defensive end Phil Hansen, who started on the Buffalo Super Bowl teams that he coordinated. At a news conference last night, Phillips went over how he thinks the two stack up:

He reminds me a lot of Phil Hansen, who I had at Buffalo for a while, that same kind of size, movement and temperament. If he plays anywhere close to Phil Hansen, that'd be great for us. I think the kid is very talented athletically. He ran a 4.81, I believe, at 290 pounds. They worked him out as an outside backer and he actually didn't look bad at 290 pounds as an outside backer. He's really a defensive lineman and at 6'5½", 34 reps, he's strong and we think he can come in and help our defensive line and play really well in our area.

Hansen was never a Pro Bowl threat, but he gave the Bills many strong seasons and contributed as both a run stopper and a pass rusher in the 3-4, so the comparison definitely helps both critics and supporters of the pick. Supporters can point to Hansen's long-term value as a key member of Super Bowl defenses, and critics can look at how he was never really an elite player that changed the game.

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