The first thing I thought about when the Green Bay Packers selected New Mexico State CB Davon House in the fourth round was that GM Ted Thompson rarely drafts cornerbacks. After an initial flurry of four defensive backs in the 2005 draft, he's drafted four cornerbacks in the past six drafts. Only CB Pat Lee was a high draft choice when he was selected in the 2nd round of 2008. The other ones were 2006 4th round CB Will Blackmon, 2009 6th round CB Brandon Underwood, and now House.
He was selected at No. 131 overall, which was way below the grade of No. 56 overall given by NFL Draft Scout. According to his bio, he started every season he was at New Mexico State and he never missed a game due to injury. He didn't play much zone coverage or Cover 2, if any, in college. With so many NFL defenses in that scheme (or variations of it), many teams might have passed on him for that reason alone. It's hard to scout someone if you can't see him in the defense your team is running.
However defensive coordinator Dom Capers runs a lot of press coverage, and he liked House's skill set. Since they can see on film what he can do in their style of offense, he might turn out to be a steal in the fourth round. At 6-1, 200 lbs, and a 40 time of 4.44, he's got a lot of size and speed for a cornerback. NFL Draft Scout also pointed out that he uses that size well in man coverage, and he's got a "good backpedal and quick feet."
I have a lot of respect for the learning curve at cornerback in the NFL. There's a lot they have to be coached on, and they have to watch a lot of film to learn the tendencies of teams and quarterbacks. It took CB Tramon Williams and FS Nick Collins a couple seasons to figure it all out, and the quick arrival of CB Sam Shields is unusual. We should see some glimpses of what he can do, but I don't expect he'll be a finished product for a couple seasons. He should be the 5th or 6th cornerback in 2011.