Position: Outside Linebacker
Drafted: Round 1, 27th Overall
Height: 6′ 2-5/8″
College: Western Michigan
Birthdate: May 24, 1980
NFL Comparison: Kevin Greene
Strengths: A high-motor guy with productivity, Jason Babin is a power pack of pass rushing highlights. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-American conference, he is the kind of player that gives all the effort he can both on the field and in practice. Babin dominated his MAC competition over the last two seasons, including a 2003 campaign in which he registered over thirty tackles for a loss, nine quarterback hurries, and fifteen sacks.
Babin plays with a lot of energy and the kind of quick ramp-up speed that is crucial to being one of the game’s elite sackmasters. Babin has shown tremendous football instincts and has enough straight-line speed to track down ballcarriers running wide toward a sideline. A terrific all-around athlete, Babin was a state wrestling champ in high school, and he even blocked three punts for the MAC’s Broncos.
Babin’s stock has been on the rise since the season ended. His stellar performance in all-star postseason workouts and games, such as the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, have helped erase doubt that his productivity was simply the result of playing in a small-school conference.
Areas of Concern: Babin has been able overpower college-level defenders, but he will need to work on his hands to better shed NFL-quality blockers. Physically, Babin is thick through the shoulders and chest, but his height is less than ideal for an outside rusher. His weight has been as high as 280, and when it’s up there Babin’s not quite as explosive off the edge as he is when he’s down in the 260s. The Texans will need to keep Babin in top physical condition to optimize his pass rushing ability.
2004 Expectations: The Texans said they wanted to draft playmakers for the defense, and Babin has shown the talent to be able to do just that. He’ll need to be that kind of player for Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense, considering the extra picks the Texans gave up to a division rival to obtain him. To Babin’s credit though, he appears to be the perfect player for Capers’ defensive scheme. Babin should be expected to start at outside linebacker in his rookie year.
by Keith Weiland
YEAR G TAK TFL SACK FR FF 2003 12 115 33 15 1 3 2002 12 94 26 15 1 2 2001 11 56 13 7 0 2 2000 12 34 3 1 0 1 TOTALS 44 299 75 38 2 8 Jason Babin Home