Alabama Team News

ESPN draft analyst has Alabama’s O.J. Howard going No. 4 overall – earliest ever for a tight end

O.J. Howard

A tight end never has been drafted higher than fifth overall in NFL history. But ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay thinks that could change.

McShay has Alabama tight end O.J. Howard projected as the No. 4 overall pick, by the Jacksonville Jaguars, in his latest mock draft. McShay has Howard as the first offensive player off the board.

“He’s really emerging as one of the cleanest prospects in terms of his ability – the workout he had at the combine, the Senior Bowl … and producing in big games,” McShay said. “He had monster performances against Clemson in each of the last two national championships, so he’s shown that clutch gene as well.”

Riley Odoms (1972, to Denver) and Mike Ditka (1961, to Chicago) are the highest-drafted tight ends ever, with both going No. 5 overall. Just three tight ends have been selected in the first round since 2010 – Eric Ebron (2014, to Detroit), Tyler Eifert (2013, to Cincinnati) and Jermaine Gresham (2010, to Cincinnati).

McShay has Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, Stanford’s Solomon Thomas and LSU’s Jamal Adams as the top three picks.

RELATED: Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey described as being ‘as violent as I’ve ever seen a corner be’

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