OJ Howard NFL Draft Decision Looming, Will Consult Nick SabanBy Russell Westerholm
Fresh off a huge performance in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship, Alabama tight end O.J. Howard is considering declaring for the NFL Draft.
After relatively light usage this year, Howard broke out in the national title game with five catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. All those were season highs and his touchdown catches were his first two of the season, though he only had one game where he caught more than five passes.
According to NFL.com, the junior tight end said he would consult his head coach, Nick Saban, before the Jan. 18 deadline approaches for underclassmen to declare.
"I don't think (making a decision) will be hard at all once I sit down with coach Saban and my family," he said at a press conference Tuesday. "Coach helps us make the right decision. He's always done that for me since I've been at the university... At the end of the day, I'll sit down with coach tomorrow and we'll make the right decision."
Howard was named the CFP National Championship offensive MVP, so he may look to capitalize and go pro. But Saban admitted in his postgame comments that he wished he used Howard more this season, ESPN noted. Howard may use that as encouragement to come back as a senior or as a high compliment, but he will not make his decision until he gets his coach's input.
Per CBS Sports, Howard has prototypical size for an NFL tight end and has great athleticism to go along with it. He also showed great improvement as a blocker, which Saban publicly praised his tight end for.
However, being under-utilized resulted in a lack of tape, as compared to some of this year's top tight ends. Howard also needs to do a lot of work on his route running if he wants to be an effective pass catcher at the next level.