Photo of D.J. Reader
Drafted By: Texans

Combine Results

5.25 ?
  • 5.33 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 30 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 29.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 99.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.90 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.71 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Reader will be an option for the Texans' vacant nose tackle spot once Vince Wilfork hangs them up. He's battle tested and should spend the next year or so proving why he's the replacement. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'3" Height
  • 33 5/8" Arm Length
  • 327LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands


It's been a tough road for Reader since his father passed away in 2014, but if NFL scouts believe he is through that rough patch, they will have great interest in his ability to eat space in the middle of the defensive line. Just before the 2015 season began, Reader decided to leave the team for personal reasons. He returned in October, playing nine games on the year (13 tackles, 1.5 for loss). Expectations were high for Reader coming into the season because the Tigers lost a lot of talent to the NFL, and he flashed as a top reserve as a sophomore (43 tackles, five TFL, three sacks) and junior (27 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks). Even as a freshman, who was highly-rated as both an offensive line and defensive line prospect out of high school, Reader earned a lot of playing time (40 tackles). He even played first base for the Clemson baseball in the spring of 2013, though his playing time was limited (0-for-3, three putouts in seven games).



Carries his 340 pounds fairly well on his stout frame. Almost always the low man at the point of attack. Able to leverage blockers and displace them. Plays with enough motor to chase the play down the field. If single blocked, will absolutely push the pocket as a rusher.


Rotational defensive lineman who lacked production. Gets initial push, but fails to shed blockers in time to make many tackles. Needs more coaching to improve his hands. Once he's on the move and engaged with a blocker, fails to consistently find the ball­carrier and ball.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6 or 7

Sources Tell Us

"Just a plugger. He looks good at the Senior Bowl in one­-on­-one drills because he's stronger than these guys, but scouts tell me that in games he's limited." -- NFC defensive line coach

NFL Comparison

Justin Ellis

Bottom Line

Squatty, strong nose tackle who is able to push smaller centers around in phone booth battles, but unable to consistently be a disruptive force up front. Reader has the strength and potential to believe that his Senior Bowl flashes could turn into something more in the NFL, even though that might just be as a career backup.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster