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Scouting Report
Howard became a full-time starter for Florida in 2010, but had his best season as a senior in 2011, recording 65 tackles - 10 1/2 for loss - a career-high 5 1/2 sacks, two pass break-ups and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He finished his college career with 131 tackles - 25 1/2 for loss - and 11 1/2 sacks in 45 games, earning an All-SEC honorable mention as a senior. A defensive end/linebacker in high school, Howard added 60 pounds during his time with the Gators. Although still somewhat light for an NFL defensive tackle, Howard offsets that with quick feet and excellent agility. He is very good against the run and has deceptive speed when chasing down a ball carrier. With experience lining up at several different defensive line spots during his career, Howard offers the versatile skill set teams look for. But despite his solid numbers at Florida, Howard was inconsistent and didn't play his best against elite teams like Alabama and LSU. He also took too many face-mask and offside penalties, too often jumping on hard counts. Howard neither hurt nor helped himself much at the NFL combine, running a respectable 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds. With enough ability to play at the next level, Howard will likely be a late-round selection by a team willing to let him gain experience before making him a starter.