Ups and Downs
Drafted alongside his Arkansas teammate Jamaal Anderson, Chris Houston decided to forgo his senior year in college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Little did he know that he would get picked with his teammate by the same team in the same year. Like Anderson, Houston has seen mixed results, thus creating a split about his abilities and performances as a Falcon. Supporters are quick to point out his solid progression and the fact that he’s played in every game in Red & Black (32 games in 2 seasons), and starting in all but 5 games in two years. His backers point out that he had an excellent 2nd year, doubling his pass defenses (16) and interceptions (2). They acknowledge that, besides quarterback, no other position is more difficult than Cornerback, drawing the top receivers in the game week in and week out. As a number one corner drawing the best receivers in the game, Houston may have given up yards, but helped contribute to the Falcons being ranked 11th in the NFL in points per game on defense.
Houston’s 2008 Campaign
Games Started – 16, Total Tackles – 61, Passes Defensed – 16, Ints – 2, Def TD – 1
Too Many Big Plays
As with Anderson, Houston also has detractors among the fan base that think he simply is not a lockdown corner and has serious issues in the secondary. These fans will always point out that Houston is getting torched at key times and that he isn’t physical enough to be effective in man-to-man coverage. This is especially true since he draws each team’s best receiver, getting two of the better ones in the NFL twice in a year in Steve Smith of the Panthers and Marques Colston of the Saints.
Chris Houston has created a pretty big split among Falcons fan (likely majority favoring him) regarding his performances and ability as a starting cornerback for the team over the last two years. Even though he may not have had years in the mold of recent cornerbacks taken in the draft, such as Leodis McKelvin or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he has shown progression in an ability to limit number one wide receivers, even if he hasn’t reached the capability of being a true shutdown corner. Excluding giving up some really big plays at truly bad times, Houston has seemed to solidify his status as the Falcons number one Cornerback. It might be a touch unnerving to see Dimitroff draft three corners in 2 years, taking 2 in one draft.
1) Is Chris Houston a lockdown cornerback?
2) Will Houston have direct competition by Owens, Jackson, Grimes, or Hutchins?
3) Should he be concerned that Dimitroff drafted 3 CB’s in 2 years?
4) Does Houston’s penchant for giving up the big-play worry you?
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