NFL free agency is just about to start but it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s only 46 days away!
The Eagles have already begun to host prospects for official pre-draft visits in Philadelphia. Andrew DiCecco of TheEaglesWire reports the Eagles are meeting with Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard on Monday.
Leading up to NFL Draft each year, teams are allowed to bring in 30 prospects for official visits. These visits don’t always guarantee the team is actually interested in the player. Howie Roseman once admitted to using some of their visits as smokescreens to mask their true interests. The team is not permitted to work out the player during these visits but they are allowed to check medical information and interview the prospect.
It’s no surprise to see the Eagles checking in on offensive tackle prospects given that Jason Peters might not be back with team in 2019. Even if Peters is back, he just turned 37 years old and he’ll be a free agent after this season.
Howard shares a similarity to Peters in that he’s a converted tight end playing as an offensive lineman. Howard came to Alabama State at 6-3, 235 pounds but has since grown to 6-5, 322 pounds.
The Eagles are showing a good amount of interest in Howard. They already met with him at the Senior Bowl and they also used one of their 60 formal interviews on him at the NFL Combine. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland recently went down to Alabama State’s pro day to see Howard in person.
Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland put Alabama State T Tytus Howard through his pro day workout— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) March 8, 2019
Howard doesn’t project as an instant starter in the NFL but he’s an intriguing talent. The Eagles could draft him with the hopes he could be an eventual successor for Jason Peters. Here’s a scouting report from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Ascending tackle prospect who will require additional work with technique and in the weight room to fully realize his potential. Howard is a gifted athlete with rare quickness and fluidity as both a run and pass blocker and his play issues are correctable with more work. While he will be dinged for level of competition, his upside was on full display with his play against Auburn. He needs development, but he’s much more than a developmental prospect and could find a starter’s spot within his first two years.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked Howard as his sixth best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class.
“A four-year starter at Alabama State, Howard took an unlikely journey the past five seasons, transitioning from high school quarterback to skinny tight end to offensive tackle with a pro future. Lining up primarily in a two-point stance, he was on the NFL radar last summer, but his performance in 2018 (one sack allowed) put him in the conversation to be one of the first non-FBS players drafted, especially after his positive tape vs. Auburn (his favorite team growing up). Howard frustrates defenders with his ability to mirror and uncoil his length to disrupt pass-rush plans. While not shy using his hands, he appears clumsy at times because his timing and placement are undeveloped. Overall, Howard is a talented lump of clay with sloppy tendencies, but all the raw tools are there for him to develop into an NFL starter.”
BGN’s Michael Kist posted some Howard clips on Twitter dot com:
Putting out good tape vs Auburn is a big plus... took reps at both LT/RT in the same season (RT here) - pic.twitter.com/SMQT6Yee5O— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) March 9, 2019
And, finally, the all-important spider graph from Mockdraftable:
We’ll continue to track the Eagles’ top 30 visits as we learn about them here at Bleeding Green Nation.