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This guy seems to be a bit under the radar. He transferred to Indiana after his Alabama-Birmingham football program closed shop.

RB - #8 - 6'1" 230 - Junior

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2013 Alabama-Birmingham CUSA FR RB 11 145 881 6.1 2 4 83 20.8 1 149 964 6.5 3
2014 Alabama-Birmingham CUSA SO RB 12 306 1587 5.2 13 9 72 8.0 1 315 1659 5.3 14
2015 Indiana Big Ten JR RB 9 196 1213 6.2 9 11 106 9.6 1 207 1319 6.4 10
 
Film Session from Week 4
 
A cut-up from #14 Michigan at Indiana
 
Pros:
- Knock Down power
- Catches nicely out of the back field
- Decent burst
- Above average vision
- Locates pass rushers well in blitz pick ups
- Gets downhill well
- Runs for the situation well
- Great leg drive
 
 
Cons:
- Needs to learn how to absorb blockers better in pass pro
- Will misread blitz in pass pro
- Good but not elite speed
- At times, slows down and uses unneeded moves in the secondary. Seems like he doesn't trust his speed.
Edited by Joe Bryant
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On the other hand, if you take away his runs of 1, 3, -3, 0, 1, -3 and 0 he is averaging 26 ypc

Been waiting for that dude forever. He's been out with a wrist (two wrists, actually), but you know he's due for a comeback. 

Cohen has no doubt looked phenomenal and is in my mind one of the top three standouts of the preseason so far. I honestly think they have no choice but to get him involved given their lack of talent o

Thanks, Borden, for starting this post - I wasn't familiar with Howard before your post and video links. Now that I am, I'm impressed thus far. Will be interesting to see how he tests at the Combine and where he falls in the draft

The video against Michigan only has 1 highlight of his pass pro and 1 highlight of a screen play - any bigger-picture thoughts/examples on how he generally fares in these parts of his game?

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Thanks, Borden, for starting this post - I wasn't familiar with Howard before your post and video links. Now that I am, I'm impressed thus far. Will be interesting to see how he tests at the Combine and where he falls in the draft

The video against Michigan only has 1 highlight of his pass pro and 1 highlight of a screen play - any bigger-picture thoughts/examples on how he generally fares in these parts of his game?

Full game at Mich St.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-6dEV_n6Uc

At 36:40 (ish) there's 2 passing plays that he is in on. The first gets a "Nice block" from the announcer but the second he just kind of chips his guy, to the inside, and his guy gets decent pressure one the QB. It's enough to allow the QB to scramble and make the throw but it isn't a good block. The announcers give him love again but it's not a good block. I just I could switch my Con of not anchoring well to doesn't absorb/hit pass rushers well.

At 1:33:00 he scans inside out but misses the blitzing LB.

At 1:40:40, he get two hands on the rusher and is squared up but he doesn't engage and his guy gets the QB pressure.

Overall it isn't his best game (11/78/1 and a fumble) but you can tell he is playing with a bad ankle.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Indiana RB Jordan Howard to Arian Foster.

 

This one is juicy. Just like Foster, Howard was a productive collegiate runner who isn't getting much ink leading up to the draft. "While Howard doesn't quite have the exact same pace and tempo as Foster, both excel in zone schemes, both are big backs, both have very good vision and both have enough speed to get around the corner and hit a play outside if you don't flow hard enough," Zierlein wrote. Foster went undrafted at the 2009 NFL Draft. As for his doppelgänger, Howard posted 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns for the Hoosiers last season.
 
 
 
Source: NFL.com 
Feb 15 - 5:45 PM

 

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5 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

He might be a guy that needs to go to a good spot without much competition in front of him to get a shot. 

I think this applies to every RB in the draft not named Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry.

Edited by Braktastic
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I have to wonder about his burst and long speed. He needs to think less when running. I know he got compared to Foster and was said to be a zone runner but I think he is better suited for a power run scheme. In situations where he knows exactly where he is going I think he does his best work. Like a train getting on it's tracks. 

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NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt noted that Indiana RB Jordan Howard was a "very productive college back who should put up numbers in the NFL."

 

Brandt paid particular attention to Howard's work against two top defensive units. Wrote the senior analyst, "I love what he did against two really good defenses in back-to-back games last November, rushing for 174 yards vs. Iowa and 238 yards vs. Michigan, with a pair of touchdowns in each game." The 6-foot, 230-pounder finished this past season having rushed for 1,213 yards (6.2 YPC) and nine touchdowns in nine games. Just nine games because he dealt with a nagging knee injury at times. To that point, he'll wait until his Pro Day on April 1 to run the 40-yard dash, as he's looking to keep his legs fresh. He did participate in the vertical jump (34 inches) and broad jump (122 inches) at last month's NFL Scouting Combine. Not everybody's as high on him as Brandt. In mid-February, an NFC RB coach told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Howard was a "sack of potatoes" runner, as in the coach believes he'll be dropped like a sack of potatoes once he hits the NFL level.
 
 
Source: NFL.com 
Mar 21 - 10:01 PM

 

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Pro Football Focus believes that whichever team drafts Indiana RB Jordan Howard will be coming away with a steal.

 

"Whichever franchise properly avoids making the mistake of overlooking Howard’s value will be sure to reap the benefits," the PFF analyst team noted. The 6-foot, 230-pound Indiana product might not outwardly appear a speedster, but the outlet points to his "elusive rating," which ranked 10th and 15th these past two seasons. "Concerns over durability and pass-blocking effectiveness are not without merit," they concluded, "but his strengths are far too much to overlook and outweigh his inadequacies." In a bit of synergy, both PFF and NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt made specific reference to Howard's strong performances against Iowa and Michigan last season. He rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Hawkeyes and 238 yards and two touchdowns in a defeat at the hands of the Wolverines.
 
 
Mar 24 - 10:08 PM

 

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TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline noted that Indiana RB Jordan Howard "really struggled catching the ball" during Pro Day positional drills on Friday.

 

Pauline noted that Howard held his own in running back drills, except when it came to hauling in passes. "He could not track the deep pass and had a number of throws bouncing off his hands," according to the draft analyst. The 6-foot, 230-pounder's lack of catching acumen shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise. In his three years between Alabama-Birmingham and the Hoosiers (he transferred to Indiana following the 2014 season), Howard only caught 24 passes. On his most recent Big Board, Rotoworld analyst Josh Norris ranked the running back as the No. 95 overall prospect in this draft class. He will likely fly off the board on Day 2 or early on Day 3.
 
 
Apr 1 - 9:37 PM
 
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NFL Draft Scout's Frank Cooney noted that "scouts worry that [Indiana RB Jordan Howard's] high pad level and willingness to take on all defenders will lead to a short shelf life in the NFL."

 

Cooney isn't the only one to question the viability of Howard's personal brand of running. An NFC RB coach was likewise unsold earlier this winter, saying, "He's going to keep getting dropped like a sack of potatoes in this league with that running style." While there are questions here, Cooney isn't all down on the 6-foot, 230-pound Hoosier. He referred to him as "broad-shouldered, powerful and determined" before adding that he "can be an intimidating force." The analyst views him as a potential second or third round pick. Not everybody is as pessimistic on the runner's NFL potential. Pro Football Focus has tabbed Howard as a draft steal.
 
 
Source: CBS Sports 
Apr 10 - 1:51 PM
Edited by Faust
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Pro Football Focus believes Indiana RB Jordan Howard will be a steal.

Under the radar, Howard has become one of this class' most polarizing running backs. Some, including PFF (who rank him No. 59 overall), believe Howard is a Rd. 2 talent. Others see a Day 3 afterthought. PFF likes Howard because he led the country with 3.69 yards after contact per attempt in 2015. He's also a great receiver (caught 80 percent of his targets) and a good pass blocker (five total pressures allowed in 178 pass-blocking snaps), making Howard a potential three-down back. "Should his drafting team convince him to drop his force-first-contact approach, which has led to some injury issues for him, Howard could become a special player at the next level," wrote Wes Huber.
 
 
Apr 13 - 12:58 PM
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Bears selected Indiana RB Jordan Howard with the No. 150 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

 

Howard (6'0/230) transferred from now-defunct UAB to Indiana for his 2015 junior season, rushing for 1,213 yards and nine TDs on 196 carries (6.2 YPC). He added 11 receptions en route to first-team All-Big Ten honors. Howard only caught 24 passes in three college seasons and his pass protection was inconsistent, at best. He ran 4.59 at the Hoosiers' Pro Day with a 10-foot-2 broad jump. A straight-linish, downhill bruiser, Howard runs with velocity between the tackles and punishes defenders. He projects as a two-down grinder in the Chris Ivory mold.
 
 
 
Apr 30 - 2:28 PM

 

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Bears OC Dowell Loggains said fifth-round RB Jordan Howard is a "change-of-pace back."

 

Howard will be changing the pace for Jeremy Langford. "Their skill sets are different," Loggains said. "We won't ask them to both do the same thing, but we'll find out what Howard does well and we'll play to that." A bruising, north-south runner, it is likely Howard plays a short-yardage role with Langford as the starter, but Howard taking over early-down work is not out of the question. Coach John Fox has a long history of coaching backfield-by-committees, and we could be looking at another one in Chicago this season.
 
 
May 14 - 9:30 AM

 

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Dan Durkin of the Chicago Athletic agrees with the notion that the Bears will use a committee at running back this season.

 

One of the better football analysts in Chicago, Durkin notes that a John Fox team has only once had a running back log 60 percent of the carries, and fifth-round power back Jordan Howard "closely resembles the physical profile Fox looks for at the position." Durkin anticipates Jeremy Langford opening the season atop the depth chart, but foresees the Bears "(riding) the hot hand on game day."
 
 
Jul 22 - 2:26 PM

 

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18 minutes ago, flapgreen said:

Last on depth chart.  Fox doesnt use rookie rbs much

I've done no research on that, but it's definitely something I have heard and seem to remember being true. That is a 2fold truth. One it means Howard has a long way to go before he steals PT and it shows how much Fox likes Langford that as a rookie he got the looks he did. Langford has SOD written all over him if you can get him in the 5th-6th. 

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Ive heard and maybe seen the lack of rookie play..  We're talking N F L (not for long)

Coach has been moving around a bit.. Next move "could" require a team nobody wants having an opening (if it aint Chi w/ their hire/ fire routine)

 

Howard just lit up the backups for 100+ yds

Langford, who I have rostered should be DaMan imo

 

But, it might be a good time to check the WW pickup thread, and consider options if ya have injuries or some change

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/746874-week-0-waiver-wire-pickups/

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I'm bumping this since I saw Mike Clay tweeting about Langford over the last two days.

It's early, yes. He didn't even get a carry last week. On the other hand, Carey only got one. So, if Langford really does fall out of favor, I think Howard could get a fair shot here. I think I'm going to drop an end of bench guy and stash him based on two things:

1.) Like many, I lost some RB's yesterday, and

2.) They play tonight, so I can still pick him up as a free agent rather than use a waiver claim.

I can then reassess after the game and see where we are. Anyone else have him on their radar right now?

Fox had some things to say about Langford:

Quote

 

"Well, I think we blocked up some runs pretty well," Fox said. "That’s not an easy defense to run against, but I think there were some yards there, yards after the carry, I mean, yards after contact." Langford gained just 57 yards on 17 carries (3.35 YPC) against Houston after averaging just 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie. Langford will always struggle to create yards on his own, but he remains the clear lead back in Chicago. That said, it is fair to wonder how long that lasts if the running game continues to struggle.

Clay's tweets:

Just now on @NextLevelFF, @Rich_Campbell said he went back and watched all of J Langford's Week 1 carries...

...Rich said “issues were widespread. Hes not making guys miss...not getting yards that are his own…hes getting what the line is blocking"

Edited by Plorfu
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Who knows.  Didn't expect them to be this pathetic.  Langford has looked even worse than I thought he was.  No reason to not put in Howard but Fox is hard to figure out.  My guess is Howard gets a few more carries and they go from there. 

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4 minutes ago, thehoch said:

Isn't Fox known as an old school coach who doesn't like playing rookies?

If that's the case maybe Carey is the guy for a few weeks.

No.

 John Fox - rookie running backs and their rookie year stats : 
> > 
> > 2002 - DeShaun Foster, 2nd round pick, did not play, tore acl in preseason. 
> > 2005 - Eric Shelton, 2nd round pick, did not play, broken foot in 
> > preseason. 
> > 2006 - DeAngelo Williams, 1st round pick, 121 caries 501 yards 1 td, 33 
> > receptions 313 yards 1 td. 
> > 2008 - Jonathan Stewart, 1st round pick, 184 carries 836 yards 10 td's, 8 
> > receptions 47 yards. 
> > 2009 - Mike Goodson, 4th round pick, 22 carries 49 yards, 2 receptions 15 
> > yards. 
> > 2012 - Ronnie Hillman, 3rd round pick, 84 carries 327 yards 1 td, 10 
> > receptions 62 yards. 
> > 2013 - Montee Ball, 2nd round pick, 120 carries 559 yards 4 td's, 20 
> > reception 145 yards. 
> > 2014 - C.J. Anderson, Undrafted, 179 carries 849 yards 8 td's, 34 
> > receptions 324 yards 2 td's. 
> > 2015 - Jeremy Langford, 4th round pick, 148 carries 547 yards 6 td's, 22 
> > receptions 279 yards 1 td. 
> > 
> > All but Goodson and Hillman had 120+ carries as rookie running backs for 
> > Fox. 
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1 hour ago, Crystalsteam99 said:

Fox might not trust rookies,but sometimes you need to put stuff like that aside,and put Howard in.Howard is the best RB on the Bears IMO. I drafted Langford in a few leagues,but I'm grabbing Howard anywhere I can now. Langford i not the answer to the Bears running the ball. 

Agreed.  I am trying to pick up Howard anywhere I can, before the hype starts.

These are the type of "pre-emptive strikes" that help you win championships. (and I'm not saying that he is even a top 10 type RB). The fact is,he is still had for essentially nothing in redraft. A few leagues people will start picking him up, but I am betting you can wait until after waivers run, then you can get him "FREE OF CHARGE" possibly.

 But every year you can look back and say "Had I picked this guy up and sat on him, it would have changed everything".

 He doesn't even have to post RB1 #s every week either. He might turn into a solid RB2 type, or possibly a bit more. These are the types of backs you need down the stretch, if they can stay injury free.... a  dependable RB2 type (hopefully), and as long as the rest of your studs get the job done, that is all you need to give you a chance.

 The fact that he already looks better than Langford, that should persuade a few of us to stash him.  He probably won't be a "blow up candidate" considering the team and scenario, but he may well be a solid RB2 later in the season, and realistically that can be a huge help when many of the others are getting injured. (thats already starting)

 

 The Bears face this in the closing weeks :

 WEEK 13 - SF

 WEEK 14 - @ DET

 WEEK 15 - GB

 WEEK 16 - WAS

 

 

 Its not a tough schedule by any means, the only one I might have an issue with is the GB matchup, IF they are getting blown out.

 I have Langford in one league, and I will have Howard on that team come Wednesday morning.

 

 

 TZM

Edited by TZMarkie
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8 hours ago, thehoch said:

Isn't Fox known as an old school coach who doesn't like playing rookies?

If that's the case maybe Carey is the guy for a few weeks.

Carey pulled his hamstring last night. I don't know if it was a bad pull, but he didn't come back in the game.  Maybe this will be a window of opportunity for Howard. Fox does play rookies. It's a myth that he doesn't. I'm a Panther fan, and when Stewart was a rookie he split carries with DeAngelo right off the bat. DeAngelo didn't get as much playing time right off the bat his rookie season, because his blocking was bad at the time, and he danced behind the line. 

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8 hours ago, The Man With No Name said:

No.


 John Fox - rookie running backs and their rookie year stats : 
> > 
> > 2002 - DeShaun Foster, 2nd round pick, did not play, tore acl in preseason. 
> > 2005 - Eric Shelton, 2nd round pick, did not play, broken foot in 
> > preseason. 
> > 2006 - DeAngelo Williams, 1st round pick, 121 caries 501 yards 1 td, 33 
> > receptions 313 yards 1 td. 
> > 2008 - Jonathan Stewart, 1st round pick, 184 carries 836 yards 10 td's, 8 
> > receptions 47 yards. 
> > 2009 - Mike Goodson, 4th round pick, 22 carries 49 yards, 2 receptions 15 
> > yards. 
> > 2012 - Ronnie Hillman, 3rd round pick, 84 carries 327 yards 1 td, 10 
> > receptions 62 yards. 
> > 2013 - Montee Ball, 2nd round pick, 120 carries 559 yards 4 td's, 20 
> > reception 145 yards. 
> > 2014 - C.J. Anderson, Undrafted, 179 carries 849 yards 8 td's, 34 
> > receptions 324 yards 2 td's. 
> > 2015 - Jeremy Langford, 4th round pick, 148 carries 547 yards 6 td's, 22 
> > receptions 279 yards 1 td. 
> > 
> > All but Goodson and Hillman had 120+ carries as rookie running backs for 
> > Fox. 

Anderson was a rookie in 2013 along with Ball, but otherwise good post. 

I don't think Howard is anything special, or even as good as Langford, but if he's better, he will get on the field this year.

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14 minutes ago, sandlotshrink said:

So tell me this because our league has a short bench and I'm a Langford owner.  Are people dropping Langford to pick up Howard?  Folks seem to be pretty sure Langford is yesterdays news and Howard is the guy to own.  Just curious.  

I think it's too early to go that far. 

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I dropped Langford for Howard. 

We know Langford is awful. 

There is a chance Howard is at least something that resembles special. 

Howard was rated a top 2 or 3 back in draft class by people like Waldman and a couple guys at PFF.

Howards going to have a decent game this week and next week you'll have to fight other owners for him.

Edited by ryno1980
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Just dropped Whittaker for Howard.  Fozzy is only a limited option both in opportunity and playing time.  Howard may be nothing, but he might be something.  There is too much smoke right now surrounding Howard.  Langford hasn't been great and the drum beat will get louder both due to his ineffectiveness and the team's lack of success.  Just a matter of time until Howard gets an opportunity.  Hopefully he makes something out of it.  

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