Howard (6-foot-6, 251 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds at the Combine, adding a 30-inch vertical jump, 121-inch broad jump, 6.85-second three-cone drill, and 4.16-second 20-yard shuttle.

In what might be the best tight end class ever, it's easy to argue that Howard is the best of them. He's been NFL-ready since he graduated high school, and he's about as blue chip as a tight end prospect can be. He generally lacked statistical volume at Alabama, catching just 114 passes for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns in 46 games, but he was always efficient when targeted. It seems highly probable that Howard's lack of volume is entirely attributable to Alabama's playcalling -- indeed, when a conscious effort was made to get Howard the ball, he showed the ability to completely take over games. The most memorable instance of this was in the first of Alabama's two national championship matchups with Clemson, when he caught five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. For a player with Howard's film and production to put forth a 4.51-second 40 and 6.85-second three-cone drill at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds is to assemble the exact prototype at tight end. Howard will be a first-round pick and could be a candidate to go in the top 10. It would be a surprise if he's not a star in the NFL.