Just to throw one more log on the fire, here's something I wrote last February (in one of my periodic anti-Chris Houston posts
) about the Pats' DB draft history.
Chris Houston on Sirius NFL Radio
The Patriots are kind of funny in evaluating d-backs. Tight hips? Not a problem. Short enough to qualify for reduced fares? Step right up. Small school with low level of competition? It's all cool. Questionable ball skills? Weak in run support and tackling? Ah, hold on a minute.
Ellis Hobbs draft report excerpts: "Has a good nose for the ball and is especially active in run support...Solid tackler who will break down, face up, wrap and secure, showing aggression making the hit...Made very good improvements with his hands in 2004, extending away from the frame to snatch and pluck the ball..."
James Sanders draft report excerpts: "Good open field tackler…Ball-hawk type with that “go up and get it” attitude to the thrown pass…looks natural looking the ball in, extending for the pigskin at its high point with hands extended away from the frame…Plays with good functional strength and hits with explosion as a tackler…
Guss Scott draft report excerpts: "Plays with good awareness and instincts…Quick to react to the ball and anticipate the pass, consistently making good decisions…Has very good hands and ball skills, doing a good job of extending to get to the pigskin away from the body’s frame…Active in run force, coming up quickly while taking good angle..."
Dexter Reid draft report excerpts: "Quick to recognize and locate the ball…Plays alert and is very aware of the receiver’s drop in the zone…Tracks the ball properly and readily adjusts to it when combating for the pigskin…Catches the ball in his hands and away from his body…Will meet the ball carrier with aggression at the line of scrimmage..."
In short, there appears to be a clear profile for a Pats-drafted DB. It's not a physical profile, it's an on-the-field profile. Good hands, strong in run support, excellent field awareness and read-and-react/ball-tracking skills. Speedster or no, Chris Houston just doesn't seem to fit the profile.