Scouting Reports: TE O.J. Howard
2017 NFL Draft Scouting Reports:
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
6’6”, 251 lbs.
- One of the safest prospects in the class, as he’s a high ceiling and a high floor guy.
- Needs little development/refinement as he is pretty ready to go as an NFL prospect.
- Excellent size and frame, both as an inline blocker and as a target in the passing game.
- Top level athlete for the position and his size, who is going to be a match-up nightmare for opposing linebackers and safeties.
- Very fluid in his breaks as a route runner.
- Has big hands, and makes it look easy catching the football.
- Has a wide catch radius and will make tough catches look easy.
- Will be a major red zone weapon at the next level.
- Capable of playing any TE role asked of him.
- Good in line blocker, who rarely gives much ground, really showing nice improvement as a senior.
- Was able to rely too much on his natural size and athleticism as both a receiver and blocker, does need little tweaks in both areas.
- Under-utilized as a receiver in college, will need some more experience in running routes vs different coverages and concepts.
- Needs even more of a mean streak as a blocker. He will be good in this area as is, but he needs to be more physical at the point of attack.
Howard is the top tight end to enter NFL in years and he has a real chance of being selected in the top 10 picks. After Myles Garrett he’s probably the safest prospect in this draft class at any position, as at the very least he should be a quality starter, with the chance to be elite.
Howard gets knocked for his lack of production, but the offense he was in just wasn’t conducive for him having big numbers. Howard shows everything you want in a receiving tight end, and he easily projects to be a focal point of an NFL passing attack. His size and speed combo make him pretty unique and a threat all over the field.
Howard’s blocking has improved throughout his college career, and this past season it became another weapon for Howard. While this is a deep tight end class, one thing that Howard has over some of the other top tight ends is his blocking ability. He should be a pretty good addition for most teams as a run blocker and add some nice value in that area that the other top tight ends can’t match.
While typically it’s not wise to draft tight ends too early, Howard is the exception to the rule and would be well worth a top 10 selection in this class. Wherever he ends up, Howard has the makings of quickly becoming a special player and a true difference maker two-way tight end.