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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: O.J Howard, TE, Alabama

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With the Jets moving on from Chan Gailey, could the TE position come back into play with first round talent O.J Howard from Alabama?

CFP National Championship Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Introduction

Hometown: Prattville, Alabama

High School: Autauga Academy, Alabama

Recruitment: 5 Star

Awards

2016 CFP National Championship Offensive MVP

2016 First Team All-American (PFF)

2016 John Mackey Award Finalist

Measurables

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 249

Class: Senior

Projected 40 Time: 4.57

Stats

2016 - 45 receptions, 595 yards, 3 TD's

2015 - 38 receptions, 602 yards, 2 TD's

2014 - 17 receptions, 260 yards, 0 TD's

2013 - 14 receptions, 269 yards, 2 TD's

Positives

  • Physically dominating. Good size, large hands.
  • Excellent acceleration
  • Has elite play speed for the TE position.
  • Creates separation at all three levels.
  • Quick to get in and out of his breaks.
  • Good body control throughout
  • Catches the ball away from his body, plucks it out the air.
  • Willing blocker who plays with a good base.
  • Very good with the ball in his hands.

Negatives

  • Doesn't look overly bothered at times.
  • Competitive nature has been questioned.
  • Playing time seemed to decrease in his senior year.
  • Didn't make enough plays down the field.
  • Should have been more of a target in the redzone.
  • Looks a little lean through the shoulders.
  • Play strength will need to improve to face bigger more imposing defenders.

Conclusion

O.J Howard is an interesting case study, during the season I lost interest because he didn't seem to be interested. When someone doesn't love football, it's hard to reach your potential. Then he went to the Senior Bowl and looked like the most dominating tight end on the field. He has incredible potential because of his pure athleticism, he gets separation, he has the hands, he has the speed...so why isn't he putting it all together. Did Alabama know how to use him properly? Maybe not. Or does he just not want it enough? That's very possible. He's one of those guys who could be a better pro than a college player, he has too much ability to flat out fail. However I'd be wary, his interview process will go a long way to determining his draft stock.

Draft Round Prediction: 1st Round