Round 4, Pick #114: DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS, William & Mary
By the time the Raiders get into the fourth round, there will be some questions about why they haven’t made a move to add depth and a potential long-term starter at safety. These questions can be answered by the addition of FCS standout DeAndre Houston-Carson, who played his college ball at William & Mary. If he’s available at pick #114, he could be a potential steal at that point.
Houston-Carson was a corner-turned-safety who absolutely dominated in the FCS level. He was a consensus FCS All-American last season, recording four interceptions and a team-high 109 tackles, toward a total of ten interceptions and 293 tackles in his college career. He also is a complete special teams stud, blocking nine kicks over the course of his college career, including a stretch in 2014 in which he blocked a punt in three consecutive games. He recorded a number of tackles as a special teams gunner as well and even returned four punts (for eleven yards total).
Houston-Carson will need some coaching and time in the weight room in order to become a full-time NFL safety but has the potential to contribute as a cornerback immediately with his good speed, size and coverage skills. He’s also a potential special teams superstar, and could own that role for years in the way players like Steve Tasker and Bill Bates did during the 1990’s. He’s an aggressive tackler – sometimes to a fault – who plays with a high motor and a lot of energy to match his athletic ability that is incredibly high for an FCS prospect. The Raiders could make me a happy man if they can snag him with this pick.
Next: Raiders Draft Wishlist: Round 5