JAYE HOWARD, DT, FLORIDA
TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-3, 301, 4.82
A well built defensive tackle with a solid frame and good length for his size. Showcases natural flexibility sitting into his stance. Coils up well and exhibits an explosive first step off the football. Shoots low off the football can gain leverage and showcase some violence with his hands when looking to disengage. Loves to work the chop initially to keep himself clean. Isn’t overly sudden laterally and will get a bit overextended with his arms as a pass rusher. However, can work the club when engaged to free himself eventually. But if he doesn’t win initially, will get tied up. Exhibits the ability though to win with his first step. Possesses the get off burst to threaten gaps off the football, plays low, keeps his pad level down and exhibits the balance to make himself small through tight areas. Is a “plus” one-gap defender.
Showcases natural burst off the snap in the run game as well. Looks coordinated getting his hands up off the snap into contact and generates a good pop at the point. Can create enough separation on contact to keep himself clean, shed, and exhibit plus range off his frame when asked to close. Possesses good burst off his frame, exhibits the balance, power and length to play the piano down the line and beat slide down blocks. However, is a bit inconsistent as an in-line defender. Can be overwhelmed on contact and will at times get off the ball late. If he doesn’t gain leverage initially has a tough time anchoring on contact. Isn’t a guy who can handle any type of additional attention as well and was driven to the ground even vs. a single block inside. Needs to get stronger in the lower half and improve his overall ball awareness if he hopes to hold his own at the point at the next level.
Impression: An athletic kid who can play low, be violent with his hands and disengage in both the run and pass game. Needs to get stronger and improve overall ball awareness, but the skill set is there for this guy to play early in more of a one-gap scheme and eventually fight for a starting role down the line.
• Quick off the snap
• Athletic movement
• Flashes disruptive penetrating ability
• Good range
• Has played inside and outside
• Has not yet reached his ceiling
• Plays too tall and is too easily turned
• On skates against double-teams
• Does not play wth pop or power in hands
• See-and-go reactor
• Motor runs hot, cold
• Underachiever traits
The Way We See It:
A high school defensive end and power forward on a state championship basketball team, Howard put on approximately 80 pounds to grow into a tackle. Has raw physical tools, but concerns about character, work ethic and competitiveness will affect his draft standing.
Howard brings plenty of experience to the next level as a four-year career player at Florida featured 45 games played and 25 starts. The defensive tackle redshirted in 2007, played sparingly as a freshman in 2008, then became a part-time starter as a sophomore and junior. Howard’s breakout campaign came as a senior in 2011, when he started all 13 games and finished fourth on the team with 65 total tackles. Howard was tied for second on the Gators with 10 tackles for loss and second with 5.5 sacks. He also recorded four quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries. His performance earned him invitations to both the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine.
Howard has good size at 6’3” and 292 pounds. He would do well to add some bulk, however, and his power off the ball must improve if he wants to consistently disrupt plays in the backfield. He generally runs around a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.93 from that distance. His quickness is what is going to make him a contributor of some sort in the NFL. Howard’s first step is quick and that’s what makes him a relatively dangerous pass-rusher. His motor is somewhat inconsistent and he will have to bring it on every play in order to make himself a viable option on a roster day in and day out. Howard’s potential is real and he could help his stock bigtime with a strong showing at the combine. For now it looks like Howard should get drafted, possibly in the sixth round.
Jaye Howard is an explosive defensive tackle prospect. Really experienced. Athletic. Can play end. Good first step. Needs to improve his his motor and instincts. But has the physical tools to play early. I like his versatility and I think he has the type of first step to make an impact as a pass rusher. Remeber, the Giants are not in the market for a starter on the defensive line. They need depth and Howard would provide that. He has a lot of potential, but early on, can contribute as a nickel guy who can play all over.