There were some questions about Justin Houston when he came out of the University of Georgia. Clearly he could play after notching 10.0 sacks as a junior in 2010 and being named a First Team All-American. Clearly he had the physical talent, as he showed at the NFL Combine, when he ran a 4.62 40-yard-dash and bench pressed 225lbs 30 repetitions while measuring (6’3 260lbs). However a drug test came back positive for marijuana at the NFL combine, which led scouts to question Houston’s commitment to football, and this mistake ended up knocking him into the third round of the NFL Draft.
Now Justin Houston is making every team that passed on him in the 2011 NFL Draft pay, as he has developed into one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL, and has turned into a true superstar for the Kansas City Chiefs defense.
Houston landed in the perfect situation when he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs, because he was paired with fellow outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who is well known to be one of the hardest workers in the NFL. Hali has served as a mentor to Houston, the two have become friends and workout partners, and the work ethic that has rubbed off on Houston from his friendship with Hali has been a big reason for his success.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, Houston had 122 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception, excellent numbers for a young player that earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2012.
Through three games of the 2013 NFL season, Houston’s number have continued to rise, as he has 17 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
I understand that Houston was named to the Pro Bowl as an NFL sophomore in 2012, but when you talk to football fans and listen to football analysts discuss the Kansas City Chiefs, the name Justin Houston rarely comes up. It is time that Houston gets the recognition that he deserves. As he showed during last night’s win over the Eagles in Philadelphia, Houston makes plays sideline to sideline and is a punishing hitter, who has a relentless motor. Houston had 7 tackles and 4.0 sacks in that game, he dominated the Eagles offensive line, he put several devastating hits on Michael Vick.
When we talk about the best outside linebackers in football, it is time that we start mentioning Justin Houston in the same breath as Clay Matthews and Aldon Smith. Justin Houston has turned into a superstar for the Kansas City Chiefs, and it is time for the NFL experts to take notice, and give him the credit he deserves.