The Chicago Bears made it a point to add some accomplished special teamers in free agency and they kept that line of thinking up in the 2016 NFL Draft. In the 6th round the Bears added DeAndre Houston-Carson out of William & Mary, a defensive back that had 9 blocked kicks and played gunner on special teams as well.
Houston-Carson was a team captain and he showed the football intelligence to line up at both safety and corner. At 6'1", 201 pounds he has size to play either in the NFL, and his 4.54 forty at the combine was 5th best among safeties. He's a good athlete, he's a good tackler and he should help immediately on special teams.
Going from a small FCS school to the NFL is a tough transition, but there have been plenty of players in the past that have done it.
Here's his full press conference transcript from Saturday
On the secret to blocking kicks;
"The main thing is the preparation and the film study. Then my position coach doing a good job at putting me in the position to make those plays."
On whether he has heard where he will play with the Bears;
"No sir, I'm willing to do whatever the coaches ask. I'm comfortable playing either [cornerback or safety] position."
My guess is safety, but with defensive coordinator liking length at corner, he may get an early shot there.
On the transition to play both cornerback and safety in college;
"I think I thrived and was comfortable at both positions like I said. The coaches asked me to make a position change due to depth chart issues at the beginning of the spring semester and I said I would be willing to do it. I think it went well. We had a good season this year and got a chance to get a conference championship, so I think it went well."
On leap from William & Mary to the NFL;
"I think it will be the same things [from jumping from a smaller school] in it being a similar leap in competition. Leap in expectations, those types of things. I'm really looking forward to it and getting this process started."
On what Bears fans can expect out of him;
"I would just say being able to play smart football and just make plays however I can. Then special teams, personally I take a lot of pride in that, so early on just to make plays in all aspects of the game."
On what special team units he played at William & Mary;
"I was on the kickoff team, I did the punt return team, the punt team, the field goal block. The only teams I weren't on was kickoff return and field goals."
On being known for tackling well;
"That's the most important part of football, being able to make tackles and bringing people down. It's something I take a lot of pride in and, again, just moving in a lot of good positions to make good plays this year."
On his pre-draft contact with the Bears;
"I talked to the defensive backs coach at the combine for a few minutes and that was essentially the extent of the communication."
On his knowledge of the Bears defense;
"I know they are a tough group and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more and to get to know the scheme more. I wish I could tell you more about that, but at this moment I can't. So, I'm looking forward to getting to the film and seeing what it's all about."
On the injury during his junior season;
"It's actually ironic I broke my wrist blocking a punt against JMU my junior year. I did require surgery and got the surgery and about three months later it was fully recovered."
On which wrist it was;
"It was my right wrist."
On when he got his degree from William & Mary;
"I graduated in December of 2015."
On his age;
"I'm 23 years old."
What are your thoughts on DHCs presser?