Lamarr Houston   DT/DE   Texas 

TALENT BOARD

 Round 2


 

STRENGTHS

Lamarr is a hand-fighting, quick off the snap defensive tackle who never stops working to get to the quarterback.  He has good size and does an excellent job playing within the context of his team's defensive structure.  He has quick feet and, at the snap, plays with very good leverage to push the pocket on passing downs as well as any defensive tackle in this draft.  Lamarr does a nice job when he plays defensive tackle inside in a 4-3 defense, but he is even better when his college team uses him as a Defensive End in a 3-4 defense. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Lamarr has good size, but struggles when being blocked in the running game.  He loses leverage and doesn't seem to fight double teams against the run like he does against the pass.  He has a good base, but he gives up leverage because he is trying to look for the running back and not reading his opponents' blocks.  He is trying to make the tackle instead of reading the blocks, stopping the surge and letting others fill the holes and make the tackles.  He also does not use very many pass blocking moves to free himself up to get to the QB faster.  Right now, he uses his quickness off the snap to get into the backfield.  That will not do at the NFL level. That being said, there is a lot to work with and excellent upside to this kid's game especially as a DE in a 3-4 defense.  

    

BOTTOM LINE

Sometimes defensive coordinators are too fancy for their own good.  They want to make a name for themselves so badly that they put in these fancy mix-and-match defensive schemes that may work very well at the NFL level where people are pay to play and have the time to learn and practice, but at the college level, fail for a couple of reasons.  First, practice time is limited and it's better to put in systems that are easy to learn and allow the players to show their talents.  I may be wrong, but the Texas defensive scheme looks like it flips back and forth between a 1-gap and 2-gap defense, which may be confusing to the defensive linemen and linebackers.  It also flips between a 4-3 and a 3-4.  Now that is not a problem, but shifting between what style of gap play a college defensive lineman has to play and then limiting the amount of practice time a player has to learn it could cause a lot of confusion.  I'm surprised the Texas kids are as good as they are and it may be the reason Sergio Kindle looks like he is running all over the place after a Frisbee.  That being said, Lamarr just has to learn better techniques when he is defending against the run and more pass rushing moves to impact at the NFL level.  He looks like he has the work ethic and, if his coach was more worried about developing his players in one style and scheme, I would suspect that Lamarr would be a first round pick in this draft.  Usually I would give a player like Lamarr a third or fourth round grade, but the need for more 3-4 defensive ends and his work ethic makes me think that Lamarr will impact quicker than most systems defensive lineman... in spite of his coach. 

Drew Boylhart  2/10