Lamarr Houston is getting a lot of love these days. After an impressive rookie year the praise for the former Longhorn is pouring in during these football-less days. ESPN blogger Bill Williamson singled out one player from each team in the AFC West whom he deems to be future stars of the division.
Here is what Williamson has to say about Houston.
Houston has the look of an impact player who plays with a mean streak. He was easy to notice in the preseason last year, and he made one big play after another as a rookie. He looks like he’ll be in the NFL for the next dozen years. He is versatile and can play in virtually every defensive situation.
I like that Williamson pointed out Houston’s mean streak. The dude definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder and likes to mix it up on the field. Lamarr is a new school player with an old school Raider mentality.
Williamson also cites Scout’s Inc. and their love of Lamarr.
The Scouts Inc. brainiac is extremely high on the Raiders’ second-season defensive lineman. In fact, Williamson believes Houston could be one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen soon. He thinks Houston, a second-round pick from Texas, has no ceiling.
Perhaps what is most impressive of all is that Houston was selected ahead of the likes of Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford, Matt Shaughnessy and Tyvon Branch to name a few of Oakland’s young talents.
Of course the draw back is that Houston hasn’t had any time this offseason to progress under the tutelage of his new defensive coordinator, Chuck Bresnahan. Say what you will of John Marshall but the dude was a mad genius when it came to his rotations along the defensive line. Marshall plugged Houston in from day one and constantly exploited the young lineman’s versatility.
In order for Lamarr to take the next big step forward he’s got to get more consistent. There were moments last season where he dominated like a seasoned vet. Then he would seemingly disappear only becoming noticeable when he’d blow a tackle any NFL defender should make.
With all the talent along Oakland’s defensive line, you have to imagine the run defense has got to improve. No team had as many players with five or more sacks than the Raiders last season so rushing the QB is not a problem. Needless to say, Bresnahan has all kinds of weapons at his disposal. All he’s got to do is get the most out of his talent and the rest should be academic.