Babin Ready for the NFL

Just days after becoming the highest Bronco ever chosen in the NFL draft Jason Babin is ready to make the jump to the next level. Expected to play linebacker for the Houston Texans, Babin will get his first taste of the NFL at rookie camp on May 6.

To make the jump to the next level Babin is going to have to adjust to "the speed of the game," he said. "Everyone in the NFL is an All-American, everyone is a really good player and things are going to happen a lot faster."

The speed, however, may not be too big a jump for Babin who was one of the fastest defensive ends available in the draft. With a 4.65 40-yard time, and his ability to close in on opposing players makes him a good candidate for a pass rusher at the linebacker position in the NFL.

"Jason is a special player, a high-motor guy who stayed true to his style the whole year," said WMU head coach Gary Darnell. "We got a chance to see one of the more gifted players in the country."

Babin gave credit for his development as a player, and readiness to play in the NFL to the Western Michigan program. "Coach Darnell runs program just like an NFL one," said Babin.

Some media have criticized Babin for playing in the MAC and not having a high level of competition. Babin thinks, "They're always trying to find something negative. I'd just tell them to watch [WMU's] games against Michigan, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Wisconsin and see how well I played against those players. The MAC is just as high of competition." As a true freshman Babin made 5 tackles against Iowa in an early season victory, and as a senior had 9 tackles against Michigan State including 4 tackles for a loss.

So what are the Texans expecting of Jason Babin? "I expect to play a lot of special teams," said Babin. "I met with their special teams coach down there, and he wants to use me in the same way I was in college.

"I'm [also] going to be a pass rusher just like at WMU. [The Texans] obviously feel I can play the outside linebacker position or else they wouldn't have drafted me."

The Paw Paw native will be in Houston for a rookie camp on May 6, and about a week and a half later for the first full team mini-camp for the 2004 season.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories