2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Houston

  • Strong upper and lower body
  • Long arms
  • Solid tackler
  • Proven pass-rushing skills; threat off edge
  • Explosive off snap
  • Speed to pursue
  • Hard worker; workout warrior
  • Experience as 3-4 linebacker and 4-3 end

  • Too focused on rushing passer
  • Limited experience dropping into pass coverage – liability
  • Tendency to quit if play is away from him
  • Still a work in progress after declaring a year early
  • Suspended by team for two games in 2009

    Summary: Justin Houston caught a break when Georgia went to a 3-4 defense this past season. It gave him the opportunity to showcase his ability to stand up as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. Teams running a hybrid scheme changing fronts will find him particularly appealing. More than any other trait, Houston’s ability to get after the quarterback will put him on the radar early in the 2011 NFL Draft. On the down side, he might be limited to being a situational pass-rusher in the pros unless he can improve his all-around game.

    Player Comparison: Terrell Suggs. One of the reasons I would like to see Houston drafted by the Baltimore Ravens is that Suggs is a similar player, which could expedite Houston’s development. Houston’s faster 40 at his Pro Day helped this comparison because the height/weight factor is already there. It is always uneasy comparing an unproven college player to an elite NFL talent, but Houston has shown signs of having similar qualities.


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