HOUSTON -- Not long after the Houston Texans traded up in the third round of last month’s draft, the team posted a video on Twitter of coach Lovie Smith and general manager Nick Caserio hugging after a pick.
“I don't think anybody was more ecstatic than Lovie about that pick,” Caserio said that night.
During rookie minicamp Friday, Smith joked that he needed to watch what he said and did when the cameras were rolling. He added that he and Caserio, “were high-fiving on most of our draft picks.”
Update: Things are going well pic.twitter.com/pTWRV3pHek— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 30, 2022
“We like Christian,” Smith said. “A lot. We had him ranked high on our board. … We thought he would go a little earlier. To have an opportunity to get him in that round where we did was exciting.”
Harris said his mom showed him the video of the hug and admitted it was “pretty cool to see.”
“I thought it was funny,” Harris said. “I was laughing.”
On draft night, Caserio said Harris “fit the profile in terms of what we want at linebacker.”
Harris said after meeting with Smith on his visit to Houston during the pre-draft process he "honestly fell in love with” the head coach’s defense.
"It's kind of tough because going through that whole process, like you can't pick where you go,” Harris said. “But I knew if I were to come here, it would be the perfect fit for me."
Harris pointed to the success linebackers have had in Smith’s defense as one of the reasons he’s excited. Smith, who was promoted from defensive coordinator in February, was the linebackers coach in Tampa Bay before he was hired by the St. Louis Rams as their defensive coordinator.
“Just hearing about the history of the linebackers who were in this similar defense that have had success, like Derrick Brooks and LaVonte David,” Harris said. “Those are two guys I watched a little bit, and obviously I think with my spot and my role, whatever it is they want me to do, I feel like I can have a high success rate.”
For as excited as Smith was about being able to draft Harris, the 21-year-old seemed just as excited to get to learn from the three-time NFL head coach.
“He’s a leader,” Harris said of Smith. "A father figure. He’s a great guy. For me, these two days just sitting there and being able to talk to one of the greatest has been kind of crazy and legendary. It’s definitely a blessing.
"I’m about to pick his brain as much as I possibly can while I’m here.”