With the 2017 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, there are many big name players that will be on the board when it comes time for the New York Jets to make their selection at pick six. One player that continues to stand out is University of Alabama tight end O.J. Howard.
While some would not be thrilled with the idea of using the sixth overall selection on a tight end, Howard continues to receive rave reviews as a rare talent at the tight end position. His combination of size, speed, strength, and his ability to excel as a wide receiver and as a blocker should be something Jet fans covet. Since 1999, there have been only three tight ends who were drafted in the top ten, with Eric Ebron most recently going tenth overall in 2014.
O.J. Howard (6’6” 251 lbs) runs a 4.51 forty-yard dash and has a 30” vertical jump. In four seasons at Alabama, Howard proved to be a reliable target, hauling in 114 receptions, 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns through the air, despite struggling to see targets. Howard expressed his frustration about his lack of involvement in Alabama’s offense at the Senior Bowl, saying “It was kind of a question mark my whole career about that, but I’ve never been able to give an answer to this day.”
In the 2015 National Championship Game, Howard was named the “Offensive Player of the Game” with 208 yards and two touchdowns on only five catches.
Many analysts project Howard going anywhere from #5 to #20, and it is easy to see why. O.J. is an explosive athlete, and his versatility would be a welcome addition to any roster . He would be a great pick for the Jets and would finally fill the void that they have had at the tight end position for what feels like an eternity. Another added bonus of this selection would be the support Howard would provide to either one of our young quarterbacks, as a legitimate threat in the passing game to pair with an emerging young receiving corps.
Will the Jets pull the trigger on O.J. Howard? If he is still on the board when they are on the clock, they would be crazy not to.