Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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Former Alabama Tight End O.J Howard started his NFL career off with a bang. After being selected in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Howard rewarded the team with 432 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. That was above expectations for a rookie player and the 23 year old definitely has a lot of potential. From here it will be about Howard continuing to refine his skills and you do that by putting in the work day in and day out. The good news for the Buccaneers is Howard is a physical specimen standing 6 feet 6 inches and 251 pounds. Which makes this guy a natural mismatch against the smaller defenders lined up on him. We saw that already result in 6 touchdowns for Howard in his first year, now imagine how much those totals are going to increase in the future? If Jameis Winston really learns how to utilize Howard too there’s no doubt that the young tight end could end up being the next Jimmy Graham. Therefore it’s only a matter of time before this Tampa Bay offense really raises the bar. Mike Evans and O.J Howard alone are enough to be a full out aerial assault. Those two guys need to be the top two options. Evans should always be the first target but when the Bucs get in the red zone Howard should get the first look. That’s because the linebackers and safeties guarding Howard are a step slower than the cornerbacks who will line up on Evans. Attacking a slower player on the field will result in more touchdowns which is crucial down by the goal line when there is much less room to operate. If Jameis Winston can put everything together this upcoming season there’s a lot of talent around him to make some big plays happen. O.J Howard will be on the receiving end of that and the young pass catcher will only get better with time.
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Elite Tight end? O.J Howard was a playmaker as a rookie and his future is very bright.