His cousin Chris Houston is a cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Redshirted in 2009. Saw action in 11 games in 2010, making two starts at defensive tackle (first two games) and one start vs. Baylor at left defensive end, and recorded 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks with two batted passes. Missed two games with a strained hamstring. Started all 12 games at DT in 2011, logging 42 tackles, five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks with three batted passes. In 2012, posted 56 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with four batted down passes in 13 starts at nose tackle. In 2013, had 65 tackles, a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss and two sacks with one batted pass, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks in 13 starts at nose tackle. Blocked a field goal against Oklahoma and a punt vs. Oklahoma State. Team captain.
Thick through his trunk. Stout against the run -- drops his base and holds his ground. Excellent hand use -- shoots his hands and jolts defenders. Strong, active paws to disengage. Gives effort in pursuit. Strong wrap tackler. Competes against double teams. Tough, durable, three-year starter. Has a professional work ethic. Recorded an exceptional 4.33-second 20-yard shuttle time, tops among defensive tackles at the combine.
Bad-bodied. Size and length are just adequate -- does not have ideal build. Not explosive -- ordinary get-off. Very average foot athlete, especially for his size. Top-heavy movement -- shows some lower-body stiffness and struggles to redirect efficiently. Production is effort-based. Could stand to shed some bad weight and improve his conditioning and stamina. Production is fabricated against lesser competition in garbage time.
Priority free agent
Undersized, thickly built, active defensive lineman with tweener traits. Lacks ideal explosiveness and flexibility, but his hand use, competitiveness and motor could enable him to fight for a spot as a rotational three- or five-technique.