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Miami Hurricanes NFL Draft Profile: Tracy Howard

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In the next installment of the series, we look at one of the most puzzling players on the Miami roster the past few years and how he might project in the NFL.

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Tracy Howard

5'10 191 CB

40 yard dash - 4.4 - 4.5 range

Key stats:  6 career INT, 102 total tackles.

Overview:

Back on National Signing Day in 2012 (wow that feels like a long time ago), UM fans were seriously stoked when 5 star recruit Tracy Howard picked "The U."

The #1 CB prospect in the country had plenty of promise, and visions of an All-American career danced through the minds of Miami fans everywhere.

Things did not quite work out that way.

Howard did have a very good sophomore year, including 4 picks, but his last two seasons in Coral Gables were quite a bit short of spectacular.

Nonetheless, he could still be a factor at the next level.

He'll need plenty of coaching, and to overcome some bad habits, but there is still talent to work with.

Strengths:

Good balls skills,  above average athleticism, solid tackler,  consistent cover ability & very rarely gets beat bad.

TH likes to hit ball carriers low, which is a good thing considering his size. He can stay stride for stride with just about any WR, and if the ball is in his radius he has good enough hands to make the pick or deflect it away.

Howard has the agility, hips, and recovery skills to be a good an to man corner.

Weaknesses:

Face guards too much, gets flagged too much, and  smaller stature makes him struggle against bigger receivers, needs to be more physical.

Tracy never did quite fit in right in Al Golden/Mark D'Onofrio's system that employed a lot of zone and soft cover schemes.  But you can't blame the coaches for some of the plays he left on the field (The 2nd half comeback by Nebraska this season still makes me cringe).

Draft Projection:

6th Round - UFA.

Howard will enter the league much like current Packers and former Miami player Sam Shields did; talented but underwhelming (and likely undrafted).

Can he do like Shields did and work his way into a top cover corner?

Time will tell.

He definitely needs lots of coaching, but when you watch him in pregame drills and sometimes even in games, his talent looks the part of an NFL player.

A team somewhere will take a chance on Tracy, maybe even on the final day of the Draft.

It would not surprise me one bit if he managed to stick on a roster.

But because of his lack on production and some flaws to his game, he'll have to do it the hard way.