2017 NFL Draft scouting report: O.J. Howard

Let’s start today’s scouting report with a little trivia. In the last six drafts (2011-2016) only 2 tight ends have been drafted in the first round…Can you name them? Please share in the comments below! With that said, this year we have at least 2 tight end prospects and possibly a third that will hear their name called on day 1 of the NFL Draft in Philadelphia. Today, we are going to focus on the highest rated tight end out of Alabama.

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When I reflect back on O.J. Howard’s career with the tide three things come to mind…Underutilized, Big-Target, and Physically Gifted. Now, it makes some sense why Howard could be viewed as underutilized at Bama. For one, no matter who their offensive coordinator was or who was under center, the Tide’s blueprint on offense for years have been centered around a physical, downhill bruising running back with a complimentary passing attack. Other than current Oakland Raider Amari Cooper, there really isn’t much love for members of the Bama passing attack coming out of school. However, there is every reason to believe that Howard is not only a first round pick, but a top 15 pick as well.

Let’s start off by stating that Howard checks off all the physical tools evaluators and scouts look for in a tight end prospect. What really intrigues me about Howard is that while he is listed as a tight end, he has the speed and capabilities of a big-target receiver. Howard seems to make his presence known when the lights are shinning the brightest. Not once, but twice Howard shredded the Clemson defense in back-to-back national championship games. It wasn’t until his final season in Tuscaloosa that Howard was really able to showcase his receiving skills and abilities. Howard is versatile, and can be lined up virtually anywhere along the line of scrimmage. His first step, burst off the line, and speed give Howard the ability…

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