Love OJ Howard. Think he’s going to be a good pro. Had two very good title games for Alabama, torching Clemson in both games. He’s a sculpted 6-foot-6, ran a 4.51 40, and will instantly help any offense.
But 4th overall? That’s what Todd McShay of ESPN has in his latest Mock Draft.
In the last 17 years, only two tight ends have been taken in the top 10 – Kellen Winslow II (University of Miami) and Vernon Davis (Maryland). Both went 6th overall. Winslow went to the Browns 6th overall in 2004, and was a bust. He’s best known for getting caught masturbating in a Target parking lot.
Vernon Davis has had a great career in the NFL, and just signed to play a couple more years with the Redskins. But he’s not going to end his career as one of the greatest tight ends of all-time.
For some perspective: Rob Gronkowski went in the 2nd round, Jason Witten went in the 3rd round, and Shannon Sharpe went in the 7th round. Antonio Gates, one of the three best tight ends in NFL history, was undrafted!
We’re not talking about OJ Howard going to a rock solid organization with a tremendous quarterback. We’re talking about Jacksonville. The Jaguars absolutely cannot do that to the kid. The expectations will be enormous, and he’ll lose more games as a rookie than he lost his entire career at Alabama.
On the plus side for Howard: He had nearly identical stats as a senior to Tony Gonzalez, the greatest tight end in NFL history (who was taken 13th overall in the draft):
Gonzalez: 44 catches, 699 yards, 15.9 ypc, 5 TD
Howard: 45 catches, 595 yards, 13.2 ypc, 3 TD
All the obvious disclaimers apply (different offenses, different number of games, etc). Gonzalez famously played basketball on the Cal Bears. Howard played high school basketball (and baseball, too).