With just moments to spare before the Jan. 15 deadline, Georgia Bulldogs DE/LB Justin Houston has announced he’ll skip his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL Draft. Houston took his time with the decision, speaking frequently with head coach Mark Richt on the matter, according to reports.
Houston joins WR A.J. Green as the only state players to declare early for the draft this year.
He’s expected to be a first-round pick, but could go anywhere from the teens to the early second. His one year of experience in a pro-style, 3-4 system could make him more enticing to one of the many teams that play a similar defense. He should be able to bulk up or trim down to play any number of NFL roles.
In three years in Athens, the Statesboro native racked up 19 sacks, 110 tackles, a handful of pass deflections, and a pick six. He was nominated for the Nagurski Trophy this year, given to the nation’s best defender.