Today is the 21st day of FOX Sports Wisconsin Packers writer Paul Imig’s offseason evaluations of every player on Green Bay’s roster. Click here for all of Paul’s previous evaluations and come back every day through mid-March for Paul’s in-depth film and statistical analysis. Coming up soon:
Today: CB Davon House Monday, Feb. 18: WR Greg Jennings Tuesday, Feb. 19: S M.D. Jennings Wednesday, Feb. 20: LB Brad Jones Thursday, Feb. 21: WR James Jones Friday, Feb. 22: FB John Kuhn Saturday, Feb. 23: G T.J. Lang
DAVON HOUSE, CORNERBACK
Season stats: Eight games (all regular season); 26 tackles, two missed tackles, zero interceptions, five passes defensed, one sack; thrown at 45 times while allowing 23 receptions (51.1 completion percentage); one special teams blocked punt
Best game: Week 11 win at Detroit (four tackles, one sack, one pass defensed, thrown at five times while allowing one reception; played all 75 defensive snaps; season-best 4.2 PFF rating)
Worst game: Week 14 win vs. Detroit (four tackles, one missed tackle, zero passes defensed, thrown at four times while allowing four receptions; played 27 of 85 snaps; season-worst minus-2.6 PFF rating)
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: 3.3 (No. 9 out of 23 among Packers defensive players; No. 4 out of 9 among Packers cornerbacks and safeties)
Expectations at the start of the season: Medium
Expectations were … Not met
Looking live: House, a fourth-round pick in 2011, didn’t play a single snap on defense as a rookie due to injuries and his low spot on the depth chart. However, when House arrived to training camp in July 2012, he was clearly one of the Packers’ best cornerbacks in nearly every practice. Possessing the best size (6-1, 195 pounds) of any of Green Bay’s cornerbacks, House plays a more physical style that is beneficial in one-on-one outside coverage. It didn’t take long before House was pegged as the most likely choice to start opposite Tramon Williams once the regular season began. However, House suffered a separated shoulder in preseason and missed more than two months of action, including the first six regular season games. House got on the field beginning in Week 7 after Sam Shields suffered an ankle injury. With Shields missing six games, House played most of those available snaps. But, once Shields returned from injury in Week 14, House’ role decreased quickly. House had a hip injury late in the season, but that was just a small factor in the Packers’ decision to keep him off the field. House didn’t play at all in Week 17 or in either postseason game.
Upon further review: House, 23, displayed in training camp just how talented of a player the Packers have with him on their roster. Early on, there was rarely a practice that went by in which House didn’t make a great play in coverage. The problem is that House has yet to show on game day what he did in training camp. He’s had several injuries that have slowed his progress. Trying to play through the left shoulder subluxation that he suffered in preseason would not have been a good idea, but all that missed time cost House a chance to make an impact this season. Even when on the field, his shoulder was in a harness, which helped to limit any further damage. But, as Tramon Williams found out in 2011, cornerbacks playing with a shoulder injury cannot be nearly as effective. The version of House that played in the regular season was more timid and less confident than he was before the injury. House had a great game in Detroit in Week 11 and had a decent season overall considering his circumstances. But, to be taken off the field entirely late in the season showed how far House had fallen in the mind of defensive coordinator Dom Capers and the rest of the coaching staff.
Overall 2012 grade: C
Status for 2013: 100 percent chance of being on the Packers’ active roster in Week 1 next season. House will compete for a starting cornerback spot in 2013 with Williams, Shields and Casey Hayward. It will be a very important season for House to establish whether he is more than just a physically gifted athlete. The potential is there but the production has not been. First, he’ll need to stay healthy for the first time in his NFL career. If he does that, he’ll need to display the confidence of a player at his talent level. A year from now, House could be the Packers’ best cornerback or he could still be stuck on the lower end of the depth chart.