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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Alabama’s O.J. Howard, ArDarius Stewart shined in NFL Combine workouts

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

During Saturday’s edition of on-field workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine, two prominent offensive weapons from the University of Alabama managed to create separation from the pack.

In a position group that features Evan Engram, Jeremy Sprinkle, Bucky Hodges, Gerald Everett and David Njoku, O.J. Howard proved to scouts why he is the most NFL-ready tight end. The 6-foot-5, 251-pounder recorded a time of 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, falling nine seconds behind Engram—who posted the fastest time of 4.42 seconds.

While he’s known for his athleticism, no one can question Howard’s strength. A former five-star recruit, the projected first-round target turned in 22 reps on the bench. Some media pundits cringed at his 30″ vertical; however, he quickly responded with a 10’1″ broad jump: a mark that tied him for seventh among tight ends.

He doesn’t have the speed of John Ross (4.22 seconds) or leaping capabilities of Speedy Noil (43.5″ vert), nonetheless, ArDarius Stewart remains a hot commodity. His size and hand measurements were smaller than desired, but his pace in the 40-yard dash was on cue.

At 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds, Stewart put down 40 times of 4.49 and 4.51 seconds.

He provided a spark to a Tide’s offense under a true freshman quarterback. Stewart brought in a team-high 864 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 54 receptions during the 2016 season. He accounted for a 34″ vertical and a 10’3″ broad jump, to pair with crisp route running and strong hands during pass-catching drills.

Stewart projects to be selected between the second and third round the NFL Draft.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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