Former Alabama TE O.J. Howard’s stock continues to rise as the 2017 NFL Draft approaches.
After standout performances at Alabama’s Pro Day and the NFL Combine, ESPN’s Todd McShay now projects Howard as a top-four pick.
Mock 3.0 has Alabama TE OJ Howard going No.4 to Jags. If my quick research is correct it would be earliest a TE selected in common draft era
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 15, 2017
Previous projections had the former Crimson Tide star going as high as No. 6 overall to the New York Jets. The highest a tight end has ever gone in the common draft era was when the Denver Broncos selected Riley Odoms with the No. 5 pick in 1972.
Many scouts and draft experts already regarded Howard as the best and most complete tight end prospect in this year’s class. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has raved about Howard’s well-rounded game. He’s got a reputation both as a great blocker as well as an excellent pass-catcher.
Howard wasn’t featured often in Alabama’s offense. But now that his skills and physical talents are on full display during workouts, NFL personnel people could be even more intrigued.
The Jaguars could be a fit for Howard. They are in need of a tight end after trading Julius Thomas to the Dolphins last week.
Howard caught 45 passes last season for 595 yards and three touchdowns. He was a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end.