With the Chicago Bears preparing to host rookie minicamp in the coming days, all eyes have been on the draft picks signing their rookie contracts so they may participate on the field. Muddled among the Bears’ defense-heavy draft is a player who won’t flash on game film or catch the media’s attention with a superhuman athletic display. Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, drafted in the sixth round out of William and Mary, prides himself on completing the routine assignments with consistency. Houston-Carson spoke with Chicago Sports Nation before the NFL Scouting Combine, and had a lot to say regarding how he might fit in at the NFL level.

Consistency can go a lot further than just raw ability and raw talent. What really took my game to the next level was making routine plays routinely.

At 6ft 2in, 195  lbs,, Houston-Carson doesn’t possess the size or speed to scare an NFL offense. However, the Virginia native, who recorded 293 total tackles in his time with the Tribe, makes up for his smaller frame with his motor, stressing “effort, heart and passion, and playing with everything ]he] [has].” Along with a drive to excel, Houston-Carson also possesses strong ball skills, which allowed him to block an astounding nine kicks in college, as well as record ten interceptions.

Another aspect of his game that separates Houston-Carson from other draftees is his intelligence. He graduated from a top public institution in William and Mary, where the athletic department posted a cumulative GPA of 3.06 for the year. While training in Florida for the scouting combine, Houston-Carson spent his downtime reading, and “growing spiritually and emotionally.”

As a safety, Houston-Carson is comfortable playing more as a coverage, center-field type safety, as well as playing in the box and being physical. Houston-Carson played the run well in his time at William and Mary, and also recorded two sacks with the Tribe.

What I enjoy is the contact, the physicality of the game. I go into every play thinking I’m a linebacker.

Much has been made of how FCS players will adjust to the NFL game this offseason. Much like North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, Houston-Carson will need to make a large leap to life in the NFL. When asked about playing in front of a rowdy fanbase like the Bears, Houston-Carson ensured he’d be ready for the challenge.

Im used to it. We’re reputed to have some rowdy, passionate fans of our own. As long as I play as hard as I can, I’ll be fine.

Houston-Carson has all the intangibles needed to survive in the NFL. He could be a valuable addition on special teams, and provide needed depth at backup safety right away for a Bears team that needs the kind of aggression and motor that Houston-Carson plays with, the kind the Bears defenses of old were built upon.



Photo: Flickr

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