2019 Cardinals Draft Profile
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2015 (RS FR): 8 GP (6 Starts)
2016 (RS SO): 7 GP (7 Starts)
2017 (RS JR): 11 GP (11 Starts)
2018 (RS SR): 11 GP (11 Starts)
Howard played quarterback and tight end at Monroe County High School. He is widely considered one of the best non-FBS prospects of the draft class. Howard started all four years at Alabama State University, a HBCU playing in the SWAC. On his first day with the Hornets, Howard was convinced by his tight end coach to work with the offensive line due to his large frame. It has been a smart decision which earned him a preseason All-SWAC selection after surrendering just one sack over 11 games in 2017.
Howard is a converted tight end who began his college career as a 6’5, 260 lbs freshman. He has added weight to his large frame and now sits at 311 lbs. Howard can add a few more pounds of muscle without limiting his athleticism. The tackle played in a spread offense and is familiar with working out of a two point stance. Like many prospects he flashes great upside but needs refinement in technique. He shows the ability to play in a power or zone scheme. Howard should not be expected to step in and be a difference maker in year one, but if given a solid coach and some time to adjust, he can have a long and successful career.
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Howard brings the flexibility and athleticism of someone who once was a receiving target. His tall frame allows for additional muscle to be added which will only help his strength. His length can go a long way in adjusting to the change in speed from college to the NFL. When Howard trusts his technique he is able to shuffle quickly and maintain balance when engaging with the rusher. He is able to get his hands inside when blocking and anchors himself well. The action effectively creates a wall which defenders struggle to move. Perhaps the biggest strength of Howard is his ability to adapt and learn on the fly as he battles defenders. Early in the season against Auburn, Howard struggled adjusting to the size and speed of an SEC defense. However, as the game went on, he adjusted by utilizing his length to slow down the pass rush.
The Alabama State product lacks consistency with his footwork. Howard often retreats too much ground to oncoming rusher which collapses the pocket. Needs to utilize length and hit defender with initial punch rather than wait for contact. He will struggle with speed off the edge while adjusting to the next level. Needs to play with better bend to avoid being pushed back on the bull rush. He will need to add a bit more muscle and strength to compete with larger edge defenders.
– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Cardinals. Like and follow on Follow @ryanadverderada