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2011 NFL Draft, 50 in 50: Justin Houston - OLB - Georgia (11 of 50)

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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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There has been great debate around SB Nation as to what the 49ers priorities should be in this year's draft.

The greatest debate has been on whether the 49ers should draft a cornerback before an outside linebacker or vice versa.

In taking a look at the 49ers situation at the outside linebacker position, it's quite conceivable that they could be targeting one in the first three rounds. However, Coach Jim Harbaugh and Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio may just see enough potential in the guys that are already there. After all, the 49ers were ranked 3rd in the NFL in 2009 with 44 sacks with virtually the same personnel as they had in 2010.

There are players that I feel could reach double-digit sack numbers if used correctly. Fangio will undoubtedly be running a defensive scheme real similar to that of Dom Capers' in Green Bay. Players like Travis LaBoy and Ahmad Brooks have shown that they are fully ready to take on that pass rushing role each and every down.

Whatever your personal view is on this situation, it really boils down to the players that are available. But more importantly, it boils down to what players the 49ers scouting department has put together on their boards.

I am sure that they have best-case, middle-ground, and worst-case scenarios for each round. 

With that, let's take a look at the outside linebacker from Georgia, Justin Houston.

 

The video here showcases why most folks feel that he can creep up in to the first round come draft day. The safe assumption is that he will be selected early on the second day. 

He shows in the feed that he is very quick off the snap and has good speed to get around the slower offensive tackles with ease. He uses his hands very well to shed blocks as well. He will most likely not be a very good coverage linebacker, but he possess potential in being one of the better pass rushing linebackers once he hits the NFL.

 

Here are his stats:

Stats Overview Tackles Misc Interceptions
YEAR TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
2008 19 10 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2009 35 21 14 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2010 56 30 26 10 0 0 0 0 1 4 4.0 4 0 0
2010 Regular Season Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
DATE OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
9/4 Louisiana-Lafayette W 55-7 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/11 @South Carolina L 17-6 9 5 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/18 Arkansas L 31-24 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/25 @Mississippi State L 24-12 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/2 @Colorado L 29-27 6 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/9 Tennessee W 41-14 5 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/16 Vanderbilt W 43-0 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
10/23 @Kentucky W 44-31 5 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
10/30 Florida L 34-31 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/6 Idaho State W 55-7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/13 @Auburn L 49-31 6 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/27 Georgia Tech W 42-34 7 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 4.0 4 0 0
2010 Postseason Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
BOWL OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL @UCF L 10-6 Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

 

Summary: I fully believe that when Houston is drafted, that he will be drafted to start for whatever team selects him. If the 49ers get in to a situation where there is not a good fit with the 7th overall pick, then it could be wise to entertain any and all trade-back offers and go after either a guy like Houston if there aren't any of the top five cornerback's left. 

PREDICTION: 1st - 2nd Round.