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Alabama in the Pros

Draft Grade: O.J. Howard to Buccaneers

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Everybody knows the story of O.J. Howard: extraordinarily under used talent turned National Championship hero two times over. It’s true, Lane Kiffin’s offensive scheme had very little to do with the 6’6″ physical specimen. Yet, OJ stayed the course and found different ways to shine throughout his four year career at Alabama.

The combination of his speed (4.51 40-yard), strength, and height make him one of the most lethal offensive players in this year’s draft. OJ is what experts like to call a ‘match-up problem’ – he’s much too big for corners to cover but far too quick for linebackers. On top of that, he proved during his time in Tuscaloosa to be an elite pass-/run-blocker.

Tampa Bay’s offense will be loaded with weapons next year. With a receiving corp of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and OJ Howard, Jameis Winston will have a fun time slinging the ball around. What the Bucs should be even more excited about is having some help for their running backs. Doug Martin – who is suspended the first four games – has shown signs of life but the poor offensive-line play has plagued his abilities. With Howard in tow, Tampa Bay has one of the best receiving corps in the league, and arguably the most nightmare inducing – with Mike Evans at 6’5″, OJ Howard at 6’6″, and DeSean Jackson’s blazing speed (4.35 40-yard).

To the teams that have to try and stop them: good luck.

Grade: A

Jake Weaver is a contributor for TD Alabama Magazine and Bama Hoops Hype. You can contact him via email at [email protected], phone at 205-612-5060, and follow him on Twitter for sports news/commentary @JAWeaver0


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