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O. J Howard TE Alabama

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Howard was a man among boys at the Senior Bowl.  That's big to me.  

He's the best shot to get the next Gronk since we knew what a Gronk was.  

 

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My TE's are Reed, Ertz, and Rudolph and I'm still seriously considering Howard at 1.07.

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Appearing on Sirius XM NFL, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said TE O.J. Howard "never had the offense to take advantage of him."

Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian's offenses tend to focus on one primary offensive threat, and it was never Howard. Plus, the quarterback play was not great during Howard's time with the Crimson Tide. "He should have had more production here, through no fault of his," Saban said. Howard's low production, 114 catches for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns, will stand out to many. We expect him to be a top 12 selection.
 
 

 

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Kind of makes me think of people drafting a DE that gets switched to an olb in idp. Just because he's an amazing NFL prospect doesn't mean Engram isnt a better fantasy player. There's only one Gronk and he plays with Brady and the hoodie. You don't get points for good blocking, being a complete the is a bit of a negative actually. Until we see where they go nobody really has any idea what they are worth because if the jets pick up Howard and Engram goes to the saints things will change.

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58 minutes ago, voiceofunreason said:

Kind of makes me think of people drafting a DE that gets switched to an olb in idp. Just because he's an amazing NFL prospect doesn't mean Engram isnt a better fantasy player. There's only one Gronk and he plays with Brady and the hoodie. You don't get points for good blocking, being a complete the is a bit of a negative actually. Until we see where they go nobody really has any idea what they are worth because if the jets pick up Howard and Engram goes to the saints things will change.

People thought Fleener was going to be great in NO. 

Howard does lose some value if the jets take him but the best players will succeed even on bad teams.  

Fwiw I don't think Howard is Gronk, but I do see a lot of similarities to Jason Witten.

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The only knock I've found on Howard is his "commitment/attitude/effort" towards the game.  And if you want to talk about big knocks, that's about as big a knock to someone's future in the league as you can find... of course that's an entirely subjective statement from the people I've read it from, and I don't hear Saban saying that.

The other thing is the TE class is really deep this year.  So if someone out there is going to spend their 1st rounder on Howard, I'd be just fine with gobbling up the add'l WR/RB prospects that fall and taking Njoku, Hodges, Engram in the 2nd/3rd.  I think that we all have found getting trade value for a TE can be difficult.  I do expect that he'll get snapped up in the first round of any PPR dynasty league though.

 

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4 hours ago, -CE- said:

The only knock I've found on Howard is his "commitment/attitude/effort" towards the game.  And if you want to talk about big knocks, that's about as big a knock to someone's future in the league as you can find... of course that's an entirely subjective statement from the people I've read it from, and I don't hear Saban saying that.

The other thing is the TE class is really deep this year.  So if someone out there is going to spend their 1st rounder on Howard, I'd be just fine with gobbling up the add'l WR/RB prospects that fall and taking Njoku, Hodges, Engram in the 2nd/3rd.  I think that we all have found getting trade value for a TE can be difficult.  I do expect that he'll get snapped up in the first round of any PPR dynasty league though.

 

Maybe if your league only starts one.  We allow up to 3 in my main league, which tends to make them much more valuable.  They still tend to score less than receivers - the top 5 score roughly equal to top 20 WR. But I'm more confident in Howard being a top 5 TE than most of the receivers being top 20, after Davis and Williams.  

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The biggest knock I've seen on Howard is that he needs to improve his route running because Alabama was terrible at using him properly.  They had him run underneath routes or screens all the time instead of running downfield where he can create a matchup nightmare. They let him run deep once in the Championship game and it was a TD. They had him stay in to protect Hurts most of the time because he's a bad QB.

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On 4/13/2017 at 3:57 PM, -CE- said:

The only knock I've found on Howard is his "commitment/attitude/effort" towards the game.  And if you want to talk about big knocks, that's about as big a knock to someone's future in the league as you can find... of course that's an entirely subjective statement from the people I've read it from, and I don't hear Saban saying that.

The other thing is the TE class is really deep this year.  So if someone out there is going to spend their 1st rounder on Howard, I'd be just fine with gobbling up the add'l WR/RB prospects that fall and taking Njoku, Hodges, Engram in the 2nd/3rd.  I think that we all have found getting trade value for a TE can be difficult.  I do expect that he'll get snapped up in the first round of any PPR dynasty league though.

 

Yeah, that's the knock I have on him and will cause me to not draft him.  The other TEs you mention... well I play in TE premium dynasty leagues (1.5 ppr for TEs) and I guarantee neither of those guys last into the 2nd or 3rd round.  I do play in 16 team leagues though.  Maybe in 12 team, those guys are available in the early 2nd.  I personally will draft 1, possibly 2 of those guys with my mid/late 1st round picks.

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I see Howard disappointing as a fantasy TE. I had wondered about this before I read it in 2 places now. The only knock I've found on Howard is his "commitment/attitude/effort" towards the game. Just didn't make sense that if he's that great of a talent, that his numbers were so weak on a strong team. I don't really buy the excuse they have been using.

Give me this guy's size & hands, Njoku's commitment and Engram's wheels.

Right now I have moved Engram to the top. All depends where they go however. I think Howard's best landing spot might be Dallas talking over for Witten.

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On 4/11/2017 at 9:12 PM, voiceofunreason said:

Kind of makes me think of people drafting a DE that gets switched to an olb in idp. Just because he's an amazing NFL prospect doesn't mean Engram isnt a better fantasy player. 

Yes, and just because Engram can't block a nine year old doesn't mean he's a better receiver than Howard.

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1 hour ago, lod001 said:

I see Howard disappointing as a fantasy TE. I had wondered about this before I read it in 2 places now. The only knock I've found on Howard is his "commitment/attitude/effort" towards the game. Just didn't make sense that if he's that great of a talent, that his numbers were so weak on a strong team. I don't really buy the excuse they have been using.

Give me this guy's size & hands, Njoku's commitment and Engram's wheels.

Right now I have moved Engram to the top. All depends where they go however. I think Howard's best landing spot might be Dallas talking over for Witten.

The game tape shows how he's used by Alabama and why his receiving numbers weren't as high as they could have been.

There's a reason Howard could be the #4 pick overall in the NFL draft this year. Alabama's use of him was criminal. Most of his passes were within 2-3 yards of the line of scrimmage. He'd often gain lots of yards after the catch.  Also, when they rarely sent him out deep, he'd outrun his coverage and get a long TD. It really doesn't make sense, until you look at their QB play. They needed Howard as a blocker. They couldn't afford to use him to his full potential, because without him Hurts was lost and would crumple under the opposing defense's pressure.  

If you watched the Championship game against Clemson you can see how he was used for most of the year. He blocks most of the time, runs short routes when he's allowed to leave the line, and takes a long TD to the house when he's finally allowed to challenge coverage down field.

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2 hours ago, massraider said:

Yes, and just because Engram can't block a nine year old doesn't mean he's a better receiver than Howard.

Despite his bad blocking he'll be a high nfl pick so I'd say they think he's a pretty good receiver. Howard is very raw after barely being used by Alabama, there's a lot of projection being done. Maybe there is with Engram too but I think he's got a lot less bust factor as far as being a good receiver.

Edited by voiceofunreason

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3 hours ago, voiceofunreason said:

 Howard is very raw after barely being used by Alabama, there's a lot of projection being done. 

Really?

Because when Howard went to the Senior Bowl, he was a man among boys.  'Raw'?  That's a new one.  

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He's my #1 prospect in this years draft. If I had the 1.01 I would wait to see where he is drafted and then trade down to the 1.03 maybe further and take him. If I couldn't trade down I would take him 1.01. The thing is elite TE are so hard to come by depending on league scoring and set up you have to reach for him. You could build your team around him if he hits his ceiling.

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9 hours ago, Milkman said:

He's my #1 prospect in this years draft. If I had the 1.01 I would wait to see where he is drafted and then trade down to the 1.03 maybe further and take him. If I couldn't trade down I would take him 1.01. The thing is elite TE are so hard to come by depending on league scoring and set up you have to reach for him. You could build your team around him if he hits his ceiling.

Wow. That's some high praise.

I'm struggling on whether to take him at 1.07, with Reed and Ertz and Rudolph on my team. But if he's there, it's going to be tough for me to pass.

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1 hour ago, kutta said:

Wow. That's some high praise.

I'm struggling on whether to take him at 1.07, with Reed and Ertz and Rudolph on my team. But if he's there, it's going to be tough for me to pass.

a month ago he wasn't even on my radar in the 1.04-1.07 range, but based on praise from people who know a lot more than I he is now.

Starting to feel he's made the big 6 into the big 7.  LF, Mixon, Cook, McCaffrey, C.Davis, M.Williams, Howard.  Throw in Kamara and Ross and we have one of the deepest rookie drafts for top tier talent since 2008.  I can't remember a rookie draft since then where the 6th pick would be top 3 in almost any other rookie draft.

We have a historic rookie draft for top notch talent.  Anyone with picks in the top 6-8 should be thanking their lucky stars.  

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11 hours ago, kutta said:

Wow. That's some high praise.

I'm struggling on whether to take him at 1.07, with Reed and Ertz and Rudolph on my team. But if he's there, it's going to be tough for me to pass.

It could change after the draft obviosly but i have him ahead of Fournette right now. If he goes somewhere like the Vikings he'll drop. Best TE prospect I've seen come out in a while.

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23 hours ago, massraider said:
On 4/18/2017 at 11:44 AM, voiceofunreason said:

 Howard is very raw after barely being used by Alabama, there's a lot of projection being done. 

Really?

Because when Howard went to the Senior Bowl, he was a man among boys.  'Raw'?  That's a new one

:no: Howard is not "raw" as a player.  He was one of the best players in college. But he is raw when it comes to receiving and running routes.  

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2 hours ago, Milkman said:

It could change after the draft obviosly but i have him ahead of Fournette right now. If he goes somewhere like the Vikings he'll drop. Best TE prospect I've seen come out in a while.

What exactly have you 'seen' with such limited usage?  I like Engram and Hodges more. What do you see from Howard from a FF perspective that you don't see in the 2 guys I mentioned?

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44 minutes ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

What exactly have you 'seen' with such limited usage?  I like Engram and Hodges more. What do you see from Howard from a FF perspective that you don't see in the 2 guys I mentioned?

Elite talent would be my answer. Hodges might never even be a starting TE, and while Engram has a lot of upside, he's a guy who has a lot more limitations than Howard. Howard has as much natural talent as any TE in recent history, his ceiling is Gronk, with better durability. Just because he didn't put up big numbers in college means nothing, It was a run heavy team, with a bad QB. Calvin Johnson did very little in college in similar circumstances as did Demaryius Thomas.

Howard is an every down TE, with RB ability with the ball in his hands. Honestly I think he should be a top-4 pick, both in the nfl draft and the fantasy rookie draft. He's about as can't miss as it gets. From an NFL standpoint, I think he's the best offensive player in the draft.

Edited by travdogg

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On 4/19/2017 at 2:20 PM, Rhythmdoctor said:

What exactly have you 'seen' with such limited usage?  I like Engram and Hodges more. What do you see from Howard from a FF perspective that you don't see in the 2 guys I mentioned?

I like Hodges a lot too and he has best TE in the class range but Howard is one of the best TE prospects I've seen in a long time. It's true Alabama didn't use him much but when they did he looked amazing. Great hands, fluid, fast, and that 3 cone at that size is so sick. 

 

Super deep TE class this year. He leads it imo. He's nearly a perfect prospect. 

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:36 PM, -OZ- said:

:no: Howard is not "raw" as a player.  He was one of the best players in college. But he is raw when it comes to receiving and running routes.  

Yes. I mean, every rookie TE is fairly raw. That's just how the position works. 

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On 4/19/2017 at 4:57 PM, travdogg said:

Elite talent would be my answer. Hodges might never even be a starting TE, and while Engram has a lot of upside, he's a guy who has a lot more limitations than Howard. Howard has as much natural talent as any TE in recent history, his ceiling is Gronk, with better durability. Just because he didn't put up big numbers in college means nothing, It was a run heavy team, with a bad QB. Calvin Johnson did very little in college in similar circumstances as did Demaryius Thomas.

Howard is an every down TE, with RB ability with the ball in his hands. Honestly I think he should be a top-4 pick, both in the nfl draft and the fantasy rookie draft. He's about as can't miss as it gets. From an NFL standpoint, I think he's the best offensive player in the draft.

We can put this into some perspective. Calvin had 1200 and 15 as a junior which represented 55% of his team's passing offense. That is sick. DT has 1150 and 8 . That was 70% of Tech's passing offense. Insane number there. OJ had 590 and 3. On a team without great passing weapons, it only represented 15% of Bama's passing offense. I get these are two different positions. So if we just compare that 15% to the average of recent draft worth TEs, it's only 38th percentile.The fact is, even when adjusted for the offense, O.J. Howard was not very productive despite having an unreal athletic profile. It's cause for pause IMO. 

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21 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Yes. I mean, every rookie TE is fairly raw. That's just how the position works. 

Every rookie is raw, but when someone refers to a college player as raw they usually mean it as compared to other college players. 

15 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

We can put this into some perspective. Calvin had 1200 and 15 as a junior which represented 55% of his team's passing offense. That is sick. DT has 1150 and 8 . That was 70% of Tech's passing offense. Insane number there. OJ had 590 and 3. On a team without great passing weapons, it only represented 15% of Bama's passing offense. I get these are two different positions. So if we just compare that 15% to the average of recent draft worth TEs, it's only 38th percentile.The fact is, even when adjusted for the offense, O.J. Howard was not very productive despite having an unreal athletic profile. It's cause for pause IMO. 

For FF purposes I absolutely agree.  Howard is almost another lineman who can, on occasion, catch. 

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40 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

We can put this into some perspective. Calvin had 1200 and 15 as a junior which represented 55% of his team's passing offense. That is sick. DT has 1150 and 8 . That was 70% of Tech's passing offense. Insane number there. OJ had 590 and 3. On a team without great passing weapons, it only represented 15% of Bama's passing offense. I get these are two different positions. So if we just compare that 15% to the average of recent draft worth TEs, it's only 38th percentile.The fact is, even when adjusted for the offense, O.J. Howard was not very productive despite having an unreal athletic profile. It's cause for pause IMO. 

Good post!

This is exactly why I have Howard ranked 4th of the TEs.

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3 minutes ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

Good post!

This is exactly why I have Howard ranked 4th of the TEs.

I'm not sure Bucky and Engram are TEs or WRs, but I like them better for fantasy. Obviously landing spot can change those rankings.

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People keep calling Howard the "safer" pick.  I get that.  I can see a lot of Engram/Hodges owners panicking at the end of preseason when MFL/roto decides to move both of them to WR.

Njoku is the "safe" alternative to Howard, and thus a better choice at #1 for those down on Howard.

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10 hours ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

Good post!

This is exactly why I have Howard ranked 4th of the TEs.

Comparing college statistical production as a result to NFL success is a slippery slope I will never attempt to climb. 

Rob Gronkowski never had over 50 catches or 650 yards in a season in college, sure he got TDs, but his overall stat line wasnt so impressive you thought he would be what he is. Jake Butt had better states in catches and yards in a single season. Perspective, is Butt going to be better than Gronk or Howard? College statistical production means nothing. 

Jimmy Grahams one year in college football? 17 catches for 213 yards and 5 TDs. The statistical production as a referendum of future success is dangerous and irresponsible, quite frankly. 

Howard did create his few TDs. They did not love the TE in the RZ in Bama. He is clearly a freak of talented nature, the choice of coaches to not throw to him in the RZ at Bama is not going to be his problem in the NFL.

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14 minutes ago, King of the Jungle said:

Was Howard just stuck blocking the majority of the time? Hard to understand like many pointed out why his usage was so low. Looks like a beast on film.

Lane...Kiffin

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34 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Lane...Kiffin

You keep saying this and you're right to a degree but (I'm making an assumption here) you seem to think this is a bad thing. 

Saban, and therfore kiffin, plays to win, not to get a specific player stats.  Howard has played for two national championships, in 6 bowl games, and the Tide has been the best program in college throughout his time there.  That's not all him of course but it is a program that gets their players to play in the system which has been really successful.  

Saban is the Belichick of college football. We might want them to use players differently but you can't argue against their success. 

Edited by -OZ-

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56 minutes ago, Mavis said:

Comparing college statistical production as a result to NFL success is a slippery slope I will never attempt to climb. 

Rob Gronkowski never had over 50 catches or 650 yards in a season in college, sure he got TDs, but his overall stat line wasnt so impressive you thought he would be what he is. Jake Butt had better states in catches and yards in a single season. Perspective, is Butt going to be better than Gronk or Howard? College statistical production means nothing. 

Jimmy Grahams one year in college football? 17 catches for 213 yards and 5 TDs. The statistical production as a referendum of future success is dangerous and irresponsible, quite frankly. 

Howard did create his few TDs. They did not love the TE in the RZ in Bama. He is clearly a freak of talented nature, the choice of coaches to not throw to him in the RZ at Bama is not going to be his problem in the NFL.

There are exceptions to everything and there is not one magic formula to predict success. My other concern with Howard is his supposed lack of desire and work ethic. These are the rumblings that have been out there and it concerns me. 

Also, people point to his big plays but my counter on that is... of course he's gonna have big plays when the defense doesn't game plan against him and his usage is so low that when he does go on a deep pattern he's probably taking the defense by surprise. 

There are several factors that force me to rank him lower than most. 

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16 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

You keep saying this and you're right to a degree but (I'm making an assumption here) you seem to think this is a bad thing. 

Saban, and therfore kiffin, plays to win, not to get a specific player stats.  Howard has played for two national championships, in 6 bowl games, and the Tide has been the best program in college throughout his time there.  That's not all him of course but it is a program that gets their players to play in the system which has been really successful.  

Saban is the Belichick of college football. We might want them to use players differently but you can't argue against their success. 

Alabama has been winning the last few seasons because of their defense. In the example before, involving Calvin J at Ga Tech, they knew what they had and force fed him the ball.

Alabama simply didn't do that with Howard and if you've heard Saban interviewed since the end of the season he lays it at the feet of Kiffin. Sure, some of that is Saban's responsibility for not recruiting better QBs. But there's a reason Lane is at FAU - sorry but that is not a huge step up.

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He wasn't used much in college but when he was he looked elite. Very smooth for a big man. Then he showed some elite measurables at the combine. If he lands somewhere like Indy, GB or NO I'm going to pay up for a chance to draft him. 

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Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson suggested Alabama TE O.J. Howard as a possible selection at No. 9.

This was part of an insider mock on the Browns radio network. A few points, Hobson writes for the team, so he could be trying to get people off the Bengals' trail. Second, Howard might not be priority one, but a possible target. Third, Howard might be the target, even with Derek Barnett on the board. Most likely Howard is in the conversation, but not THE conversation.
 
 
Apr 21 - 8:19 AM
 

 

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14-of-16 NFL scouts polled by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel named Alabama's O.J. Howard this year's top draft-eligible tight end.

Howard crushed the field, as Miami's David Njoku finished a distant second with just one first-place vote and Ole Miss WR/TE Evan Engram garnered the final first-place vote. The Journal-Sentinel used a "points" system based on the scouts' 1-5 rankings. That "points" system resulted in Howard at No. 1, Njoku at No. 2, Engram at No. 3, South Alabama's Gerald Everett at No. 4, and injured Jake Butt of Michigan at No. 5 among draft-eligible tight ends.

 

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If the Jets draft him at #6 it will kill his immediate value.  Unless they get a real QB I have my doubts about Howard's value in the next few years.

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