2017 NFL Draft
Scouting Report
Prospect:  O.J. Howard


   

School:          Alabama
Ht:  6'-6"       Wt:  224
Eligibility:      SR
Uniform:       #88
Position #1:       TE






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Howard enters his senior season as the top tight end prospect in the country. The talented pass-catcher could have entered last year's draft, and been the top player selected at his position after a monster performance in the championship game. As gifted as he is, he has often been surrounded, and overshadowed by the plethora of future NFL stars on Alabama's roster. Despite getting lost in mix occasionally, he has been a starter since he walked on campus, and he has a lot he can offer to an offense.


Howard enters his senior season as the top tight end prospect in the country. The talented pass-catcher could have entered last year's draft, and been the top player selected at his position after a monster performance in the championship game. As gifted as he is, he has often been surrounded, and overshadowed by the plethora of future NFL stars on Alabama's roster. Despite getting lost in mix occasionally, he has been a starter since he walked on campus, and he has a lot he can offer to an offense.


His size plays well in the run game too. Make no mistake, he is not a dominant blocker, but there are certain aspects where he does excel. For starters, he is a really good positional blocker. His quick feet do a good job of getting him in position to cut off a defender or seal them inside. He also uses his long arms to his advantage. He often gets his hands on his opponent first, getting a good punch on the inside of his man. Alabama also likes to pull him a lot on traps and counters. His athleticism serves him well in this area as he usually makes solid contact.

As I mentioned earlier, he is still not a dominant blocker. Expecting him to drive an opponent off the line of scrimmage is not realistic due to his lack of lower-body strength. That is likely his biggest weakness. From the waist up, he looks like a tight end, and outside of some additional added bulk, he is ready to play at the next level. Still, from the waist down, he is built like a wide receiver. While this may result in his terrific athleticism, it limits how physical he is.

Overall, I could see a lot of teams being interested in his services. The truth is, he could add 15-20 lbs. and be a very good in-line blocker similar to guys like Mercedes Lewis or Martellus Bennett. On the other hand, he could end up on a team that likes to spread the ball out more. If that is the case, he could acclimate to the NFL much quicker. Either way, he has first-round talent, and shouldn't wait long to hear his name called next April.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Jermaine Gresham (Arizona Cardinals) or Jermichael Finley (former Green Bay Packer)

Strengths
- Incredible size and length
- Natural hands
- Not afraid to take a shot in traffic
- Extremely athletic for his size
- Versatile player that can help in multiple roles

Weaknesses
- Needs to get stronger in his lower half
- May never be an inline blocker
- Route tree is very complex


Austin Smith
Austinjs14@aol.com
July 24, 2016






Articles/Links
1)   Alabama Crimson Tide Top 25 Players for 2016   - 247 Sports
2)   Will O.J. Howard's national title performance spill over to 2016 season?   - ESPN SEC Blog
3)   #SEC One thing learned at SEC Media Days: O.J. Howard will get more work   - Gridiron Now
4)   OJ Howard Twitter
5)   OJ Howard Instagram






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