Justin Houston NFL Draft scouting report

ATHENS GA - NOVEMBER 27: Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks quarterback Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27 2010 in Athens Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Justin Houston
6'3, 270 pounds | Outside linebacker/Defensive end | Georgia

Coverage:
Because he spent his first two years as an end, Houston had minimal experience in coverage. As a standup rush end in 2010, Houston dropped back in zone some. Because of his athleticism, he doesn't get totally overmatched covering an area. However, he doesn't have the experience needed to play in man coverage.

Instincts/Recognition: Houston gets such a good jump because he's able time the snap count really well. Uses his jump to get the power advantage on offensive linemen. Will be a work in progress recognizing passing routes.

Pass rush: Houston's best asset as a pass rusher is his ability to get off the snap and to the edge. Is best rushing to the outside where he can get low and work under the tackle. Wasn't used a lot working the inside lane. Needs to develop a counter move. Hand usage could be better, which is a reason why he's better suited as a linebacker. Played as a standup rush end in Georgia's 3-4 in 2010. Played end previously.

Pursuit: Has good initial step and move which allows him to get outside the blocker. As good as his first step is, you'd expect Houston to have better closing ability. He's not as violent of a closer as you'd expect.

Run defense: Houston struggles against the run when he has to change direction in short areas. Is a little tight in the hips. Where he does do well here is locating the ball and getting after it. Has enough upper body strength to handle ball carriers in the open field. Is a solid form tackler.

Strength: If Houston is being considered as a linebacker, his strength is ready for the NFL. He just needs to figure out how to better use his hands to get the most out of his strength. If Houston is used as an end, he may have to get stronger in his lower body.

Final word: Houston is a good speed rusher when he gets a good jump off the snap. He has NFL size and enough athleticism to play outside in the 3-4. Against the run, Houston is only average and he's a work in progress in pass coverage. Had 17.5 sacks in his last two seasons at Georgia.
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