O.J. Howard Wins the Senior Bowl
By BJ Bennett
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After his convincing Senior Bowl showing, expect to only hear more about O.J. Howard's upside in the coming weeks.
Alabama's O.J. Howard was one of the standout performers at the 2017 Senior Bowl in Mobile. He was named the week's top practice player by scouts and staffers, then caught four passes, on four targets, in Saturday's game. Howard, at 6'6'', 249 pounds, is the next-level prototype. Though his draft stock was already high, Howard took advantage of recent opportunities to validate the already-rave reviews. He is now one of the most talked about prospects in this class as the stretch run of the evaluation process nears.
Throughout his college career, Howard was at his best on the big stage. He, of course, earned MVP honors in the College Football Playoff Final as a junior, catching five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in a triumphant victory. A few short weeks ago, he compiled four receptions for 106 yards and a score in another classic national championship bout. Howard had at least one catch in all 15 of the Crimson Tide's games last season and was the nation's top run-blocking tight end per Pro Football Focus.
Furthermore, Howard was credited during his tenure in Tuscaloosa as being a selfless player, putting team goals ahead of his own production, an attitude which Nick Saban praised. While Howard leaves the Capstone with an impressive 114 receptions for 1,726 yards, he also finishes with a staggering career record of 51-6. The Prattville-native made his mark at Alabama in more ways than one.
Most mock drafts have Howard slotted as a mid-to-late first round pick, projections which may only continue to improve. After his convincing Senior Bowl showing, expect to only hear more about Howard's upside in the coming weeks. With the 2017 NFL Draft on the horizon, he has everything professional teams look for and momentum which can invaluable this time of the year.