Cornerback making a visit

It's already been reported here that the Steelers have an interest in star Pitt cornerback Darrelle Revis; now another corner prospect has entered the picture, as well. The Steelers will host Arkansas' Chris Houston, perhaps laying to rest assumptions that entertaining Revis was just a courtesy.

Scout.com recently reported that Arkansas defensive back Chris Houston had visits lined up with the Rams, Giants, Jets and Redskins in this TFY Draft Preview feature article. During my conversation with Houston early Saturday evening, he told me that he's added three more teams to his list since then. He'll also be making stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New England.

At the moment, his first visit isn't until April 9th, so don't be surprised if more teams jump into the mix. He confirmed for me that in addition to many of the teams that have scheduled visits with him, he also had formal interviews at the Combine with the Cowboys, Broncos, Bengals, Texans, Cardinals, 49ers, Panthers, Dolphins, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Vikings, Raiders and Chargers. And as previously reported, he's had a personal workout with the Titans.

There's little to lose in the translation on this one. Chris Houston is one of the hot players in this year's NFL Draft.

In his 33 game appearances through his junior year at Arkansas, Houston made 70 tackles, forced 3 fumbles, made 3 interceptions and broke up 21 passes. He's one of the true shutdown corners in this year's draft class.

And as you'll learn in our exclusive interview with him that will be published at Scout.com this week, he's a highly likeable guy with great character to boot.

Unless another club jumps in before April 9th, the talented cornerback who is currently ranked No. 24 overall in Scout.com's rankings by NFL Expert Tom Marino will start his NFL visits with a stop in Philadelphia on April 9th, where he'd likely compete during his rookie year for a nickel-back role.

"The Eagles are actually in pretty good shape at cornerback, but can use depth at the position since starters Lito Sheppard and William James have suffered various injuries over the past few seasons," says Chuck Hixson, editor of our Eagles site, WarNest.com on our network. "Houston would provide some youth to go with a mostly veteran secondary."

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
One day later, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound defensive back will visit the Rams before heading to New York on the 11th to visit the Giants. New York's secondary was such a weak spot last year that they finished 28th in the league in passing yards allowed. R.W. McQuarters appeared to do what he could, but beyond him, they had issues that need to be addressed.

After a few days off to catch his breath, Houston will head to New England on the 16th and will spend the day in Pittsburgh on the 17th. 

"Even though the Patriots franchised Asante Samuel, they still need to find another solid corner to avoid using 35-year old receiver Troy Brown on defense," says Jon Scott, publisher of our New England site, PatriotsInsider.com. "New England has struggled to field a healthy group of defenders in their secondary the past few seasons, forcing them to sign former system players off the street midseason such as Ray Mickens and Hank Poteat.

So the team has been busy scouting the top prospects at both safety and corner in the coming 2007 Draft. They're very likely to add at least one, probably both, in an effort to rebuild a long neglected unit on the team."

The Steelers cornerback situation is simply a bit of a muddle heading into 2007 with Ike Taylor, Delshea Townsend and Bryant McFadden trying to prove to new head coach Mike Tomlin that he won't still be trying to figure out who his starters are at the corners midway through the season. Pittsburgh could use a young corner who could come in right away with the confidence to play, and Houston has that mindset.

The speedster out of Arkansas, who posted the only official pair of sub-4.4 forty-times by a defensive back at the Combine and led all defensive backs with 27 bench press reps, also has visits with the Jets and the Redskins planned, but he didn't have confirmation of those dates as of yet. 

So out of the teams bringing him in for a visit so far, who is the most likely to spend their first-round pick on him? Look for the Giants (who also desperately need LB help), the Steelers (who could also go LB after the loss of Joey Porter), or the Patriots (if they don't see a receiver they like when they get to make their two picks in the first round) as the most serious suitors out of the teams he's got on his visits list so far. But after these teams meet Chris Houston and see what kind of person he is in addition to the level of talent they've seen him display on the field the priorities of some of the others could shift.

Learn more about Chris Houston at his player profile page at Scout.com. And check back daily for our upcoming exclusive interview with this exciting NFL prospect!

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\nScout.com recently reported that Arkansas defensive back Chris Houston had\r\nvisits lined up with the Rams, Giants, Jets and Redskins in\r\nthis TFY Draft Preview feature article. During my conversation with Houston early\r\nSaturday evening, he told me that he's added three more teams to his list since\r\nthen. He'll also be making stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New England.

\r\n

At the moment, his first visit isn't until April 9th, so don't be surprised\r\nif more teams jump into the mix. He confirmed for me that in addition to many of\r\nthe teams that have scheduled visits with him, he also had formal interviews at\r\nthe Combine with the Cowboys, Broncos, Bengals, Texans, Cardinals, 49ers,\r\nPanthers, Dolphins, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Vikings, Raiders and Chargers. And as\r\npreviously reported, he's had a personal workout with the Titans.

\r\n

There's little to lose in the translation on this one. Chris Houston is one\r\nof the hot players in this year's NFL Draft.
\r\n
\r\nIn his 33 game appearances through his\r\njunior year at Arkansas, Houston made 70 tackles, forced 3 fumbles, made 3\r\ninterceptions and broke up 21 passes. He's one of the true shutdown corners in\r\nthis year's draft class.
\r\n
\r\nAnd as you'll learn in our exclusive interview with him that will be published\r\nat Scout.com this week, he's a highly likeable guy with great character to boot.
\r\n
\r\nUnless another club jumps in before April 9th, the talented cornerback who is\r\ncurrently ranked No. 24 overall in\r\nScout.com's rankings by NFL Expert Tom Marino will start his NFL visits with\r\na stop in Philadelphia on April 9th, where he'd likely compete during his rookie\r\nyear for a nickel-back role.
\r\n
\r\n"The Eagles are actually in pretty good shape at cornerback, but can use\r\ndepth at the position since starters Lito Sheppard and William James have\r\nsuffered various injuries over the past few seasons," says Chuck Hixson,\r\neditor of our Eagles site, WarNest.com\r\non our network. "Houston would provide some youth to go with a mostly\r\nveteran secondary."

\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
\r\n\r\n\r\nOne day later, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound defensive back will visit the Rams\r\nbefore heading to New York on the 11th to visit the Giants. New\r\nYork's secondary was such a weak spot last year that they finished 28th in the\r\nleague in passing yards allowed. R.W. McQuarters appeared to do what he could,\r\nbut beyond him, they had issues that need to be addressed.

\r\n

After a few days off to catch his breath, Houston will head to New England on\r\nthe 16th and will spend the day in Pittsburgh on the 17th. 

\r\n

"Even though the Patriots franchised Asante Samuel, they still need to\r\nfind another solid corner to avoid using 35-year old receiver Troy Brown on\r\ndefense," says Jon Scott, publisher of our New England site, PatriotsInsider.com.\r\n"New England has struggled to field a healthy group of defenders in their\r\nsecondary the past few seasons, forcing them to sign former system players off\r\nthe street midseason such as Ray Mickens and Hank Poteat.

\r\n

So the team has been busy scouting the top prospects at both safety and\r\ncorner in the coming 2007 Draft. They're very likely to add at least one,\r\nprobably both, in an effort to rebuild a long neglected unit on the team."
\r\n
\r\nThe Steelers cornerback situation is simply a bit of a muddle heading into 2007\r\nwith Ike Taylor, Delshea Townsend and Bryant McFadden trying to prove to new\r\nhead coach Mike Tomlin that he won't still be trying to figure out who his\r\nstarters are at the corners midway through the season. Pittsburgh could use a\r\nyoung corner who could come in right away with the confidence to play, and\r\nHouston has that mindset.

\r\n

The speedster out of Arkansas, who posted the only official pair\r\nof sub-4.4 forty-times by a defensive back at the Combine and led all\r\ndefensive backs with 27 bench press reps, also has visits\r\nwith the Jets and the Redskins planned, but he didn't have confirmation of those\r\ndates as of yet. 

\r\n

So out of the teams bringing him in for a visit so far, who is the most\r\nlikely to spend their first-round pick on him? Look for the Giants (who also\r\ndesperately need LB help), the Steelers (who could also go LB after the loss of\r\nJoey Porter), or the Patriots (if they don't see a receiver they like when they\r\nget to make their two picks in the first round) as the most serious suitors out of the teams\r\nhe's got on his visits list so far. But after these teams meet Chris Houston and\r\nsee what kind of person he is in addition to the level of talent they've seen\r\nhim display on the field the priorities of some of the others could shift.

\r\n

Learn more about Chris Houston at his player\r\nprofile page at Scout.com. And check back daily for our upcoming exclusive\r\ninterview with this exciting NFL prospect!
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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