Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 21, 2005.
Jets select... Cedric Houston
RB | (5'11", 224, 4.67) | TENNESSEE
Strengths: Is a tough north-south runner with good size and power. Has good burst to the hole. Will do a solid job of finding cutback lanes. Doesn't dance around much and is a decisive runner. He has good power and runs with good body lean. Will break tackles, push the pile and seems to always finish runs leaning forward. Is at his best between the tackles and, when healthy, he's the type of back that really wears a defense down with his running style. He is adequate as a receiver out of the backfield. Not a huge threat, but has a decent feel as a route runner and his hands are solid. He also is an excellent blocking back in pass protection.
Weaknesses: Durability has been a problem. He had lingering injuries in 2002-'03. Fumbling has also been a minor problem. If you chart his "big games" from a production standpoint, a vast majority of them come against lower-tier defenses, which is a concern when projecting his ability to produce at the next level. He lacks creativity as a runner and won't create a lot on his own. Lacks speed and elusiveness. He runs hard but he seems to be a little bit too straight-line and he doesn't have that extra gear that it takes to run away from NFL defenders.
Overall: Houston finished his freshman season as the Vols' second-leading rusher as a backup in 2001 and has been the starter when healthy his final three seasons. Houston missed one game as a sophomore in 2002 because of a torn ligament in his left thumb and he missed another game because of an ankle injury as a junior in 2003. As a senior in 2004, Houston rushed for 1,005 yards and eight touchdowns on 181 carries and played in all 13 games. He also had 16 receptions for 180 yards and one touchdown. Houston has had some huge games while at Tennessee but he was very inconsistent and failed to put up big numbers in most of his team's big games. He stayed healthy as a senior but had lingering problems throughout his first three seasons. When healthy and fresh, Houston is a solid all-around back. He has good size, is a powerful runner and shows good burst to the line of scrimmage. He also catches the ball well and is a good blocker in the passing game. However, his lingering injuries, lack of creativity, marginal elusiveness and below average top-end speed really scare us in regards to his NFL potential. Houston had a huge week at the Senior Bowl but is he capable of sustaining that effort and staying healthy throughout a 16-game NFL season? If history is any indication the answer is no. In our opinion, Houston has the feel of a running back that is never able to put it all together and will wind up as a career-long underachieving No. 2 RB at the next level. As a result, he's not worth taking a chance on until Day 2.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.