By: Steve Johnson
O.J. Howard, TE Alabama
6’6″ 251, 33 3/4″ arms, 10″ hands
4.51 40, 30″ vert, 121″ broad jump
2013: 10 games. 14 rec, 269 yards, 2 TDs
2014: 9 games. 17 rec, 260 yards
2015: 12 games. 38 rec, 602 yards, 2 TDS
2016: 15 games. 45 rec, 595 yards, 3 TDS
Accolades: 2015 Offensive MVP of National Championship game. 2016 third-team All-American and second-team All-SEC honors
Injuries: MCL sprain in 2012 as a senior in HS.
History: Top TE recruit, prepped in Alabama. Played basketball and baseball (was a legitimate MLB prospect).
Strengths: Seasoned, coming from a professional environment at Alabama and matched up against top defenses week in and week out. Length and hand size are ideal for a Tight End. Runs like a wide receiver (4.51 40 was 2nd best among TEs, 1.52 10-yard split). Dominated the combine drills, best among TEs in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles (4.16 and 11.46) and 3-cone drill (6.85). Willing in line blocker and can get down the field into the next levels. Rose to the occassion in both championship games (5/208/2 in 15′ and 4/106/1 in 16′).
Weaknesses: Could add some bulk to his frame. Only record a 30″ vert and 10’1″ broad jump. Didn’t produce enough for the amount of talent he has. I’ve seen multiple sources question his love for the game/desire.
Overview: The athletic Howard is one of the top TE talents we’ve seen in years. Questions about his desire will have to be dissected in pre draft interviews. He didn’t produce like you’d want out of a guy as talented as him, but was it Lane Kiffin just not utilizing him?
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Phanaddict Draft Grade: 6.4