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OJ Howard Scouting Report, TE, Alabama. 2016 NFL Draft

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One of the best tight ends in the 2016 NFL draft still has a lot to prove.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Introduction


Hometown: Prattville, Alabama
High School: Prattville Autauga Academy
Recruitment: 4-Star Recruit by ESPN, 5-Star recruit by Rivals
Injuries/Discipline: Nothing notable

Awards:


2014 & 2015 SEC Champion

Measurables


Height: 6'6"
Weight: 242
Class: Junior
Projected 40 Time: 4.59

Stats


2015: 33 receptions, 394 yards, 11.9 average, 0 TD
2014: 17 receptions, 260 yards, 15.3 average, 0 TD
2013: 14 receptions, 269 yards, 19.2 average, 2 TD's

Positives


• Excellent run blocker
• Plays with good technique
• Intelligent player
• Good work ethic
• Excellent size
• Converts a lot of tough 3rd downs
• Very good athlete
• All the physical tools
• Good body control
• Enough speed to be dangerous

Negatives


• College production is limited
• Needs to get off the line quicker
• Route running is sloppy at best
• Doesn't use his size enough
• Should be a bigger Red Zone target

Conclusion


The stats won't blow you away, in that they are mediocre at best. However Alabama love to run the football, everyone knows that, so if you want to be on the field for an Alabama team, you have to run block. Luckily for them, O.J Howard is one of the finest run blocking tight ends in college football, he doesn't maul everyone over, but he has excellent technique and he opens enough lanes to provide running room.


Although we saw an improvement in his receiving game this year, with his catches almost doubling. He still doesn't use his size enough to box out, and he needs to work on his route running as much as he works on his run blocking. He has all the athletic tools you would want in a duel-threat tight end, and his hands are fine. He just needs to show more urgency in the passing game and get in and out of his cuts quicker.


I really like Howard, but he hasn't managed to convert all that potential into production yet, so I would be wary about getting too excited about him. He's a very good run blocker and we all know how the Jets like their tight ends to be able to run block, and I think he'll hear his name called towards the end of the 2nd round, so it could be a fit.

Draft Grade: 72


90-100 = Exceptional Talent
80-90 = Impact Player
70-80 = NFL Starter
60-70 = Solid NFL Potential
50-60 = Draftable - Lot of work needed
>50 = Undraftable, - Long Shot To Stick