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Way Too Early 2016 NFL Draft Profile: Tracy Howard

In this new series, we will take a look at which current 'Canes have a chance to make a splash on draft day next season.

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5 career INTs coming into his senior season, including 4 as a sophomore in 2013 when he earned honorable mention ALL-ACC.

Also has 74 career tackles and 2 forced fumbles.

Came to UM as one of the top cover corners in the country out of Miramar H.S.

Listed at 5'11 191 and runs the 40 in the 4.4 - 4.5 range.

After what looked like a break through 2nd season in Coral Gables, was largely disappointing and quiet as a junior.

Nonetheless NFL Scouts already have him on their radar:

When he is at his best, there is no denying his spectacular potential.

Let's take a closer look at what he does well and what he will need to improve, to be a mainstay on NFL Sundays.


#1 Ball skills: While it was not nearly as evident during his junior campaign, through out most of Howard's first two seasons at Miami he has been a ball hawk. Whether knocking down a pass or reeling it in for an INT, he shows very good ability to track the ball in the air and get his hands on it.

#2 Athleticism -  TH can really run, and comes out of a break with NFL caliber quickness. This also allows him to recover quickly when beaten. He has the kind of hips an NFL Scout look for, meaning his technique when he changes direction in coverage is good, and stays low enough to make efficient movements.

#3 Looks the part - You watch this kid run a drill or come up and make a tackle, and he has the look of a well coached, talented player.  On field production obviously needs to be there, but Howard is sure to impress during the combine because of what he can do in practice and how he measures up athletically.  He also is a sound fundamental tackler and often makes good reads.


#1 Sometimes face guards -  This was mostly an issue for Howard early on in 2014. It has to remain corrected through out 2015, because in the NFL face guarding will either get you beat or get you called for a DPI every single time.

#2 Productivity does not match his talent -  How does a guy this good only pick off one pass in his third year in the program?  Is it because he split time with Ladarius Gunter, Corn Elder, and Artie Burns?  Is it because teams did not throw often in his direction? Scheme?   Whatever the question, Howard is too good a player to not end up with at least 3 or 4 INTs this season.

Summary: Tracy Howard has all the tools to be a big time college cover corner and a high NFL draft pick. But his film needs to match his talent. Additionally it will help his cause if UM moves him around some this year and lets him cover on the outside and the slot.  Even if he has another quiet season I expect Howard to get drafted next year, because GMs and Scouts will drool over his potential.  If he has a big time senior season he could be drafted anywhere from rounds 1-3.  If he repeats his 1 INT performance of a year ago, and yet again has times when he gives up plays to lesser opponents, rounds 5-7 would be more realistic.