The Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking for pass rushers of all sorts in the free agency period prior to the 2014 NFL season. One player in particular who might be a fit for the Jaguars is Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston, who's scheduled to hit the open market, barring the Raiders to not re-sign him or franchise tag him.
Houston finished the 2013 season with a career high 6 sacks, following up his four sack year in 2012. As a 300 pound defensive end, Houston isn't one to just whip offensive lineman off the snap of the ball and haul in sacks, but he's consistently a threat in the backfield as a pass rusher and run defender. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, Houston was tied for seventh in the NFL for quarterback pressures (by 4-3 defensive ends) despite only picking up the six sacks. Not only were his pressures in the Top 10 for the league, but he was also their fifth highest graded run defender (by 4-3 ends) in 2013.
How Houston Fits Jacksonville
We all know the Jaguars run a hybrid front seven, very similar to what the Seattle Seahawks run defensively and it's not a typical 4-3 defensive front. While the focal point of the defense is the LEO rush end, Houston is not that type of player. He is however a player who can play the five-technique position and hold up stout against the run, but also threaten off the edge as a power rusher and disrupt in the backfield. He also has the ability to kick inside and rush the passer, which is something the Jaguars like to do in their "lightning" package.
Essentially, Houston would become a starting defensive end over Tyson Alualu, as both have the same type of fit on the defensive line, though Houston is more advanced in just about every area as Alualu.
How Much Will Houston Cost
Houston is likely going to catch a big contract on the open market, but luckily for the Jaguars they have the cap room to snap him up if they see he's a fit. Many believe the Jaguars will aggressively go after someone like Michael Bennett, who played so well in the Seahawks defensive scheme, but Houston can offer that same type of ability to the Jaguars front seven and likely be cheaper, albeit not by a ton, than someone like Bennett.