PFF scouting report: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

Matt Claassen and the PFF draft analysts break down the play of Indiana's Jordan Howard ahead of the 2016 NFL draft.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

PFF scouting report: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana


Below is the PFF draft profile for Indiana’s Jordan Howard, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:
Will contribute at least in a running back by-committee. Has the potential to be an every-down, lead back.

Stats to know:
• Ranked fourth in the draft class in overall and rushing grades for running backs, and ninth in the nation in both areas, despite missing over four games
• Led the draft class with an average of 3.7 rushing yards after contact
• Forced 68 missed tackles in 2014 with UAB, fifth-most in the nation

What he does best:
• Finishes runs through contact as well as anyone in the draft. Powerful runner who has no problem taking on defenders head-on
• Excellent zone runner. Understands when to cut back and when to stay frontside. Shows patience and presses the hole before cutting to get downhill
• Needs some fine tuning in pass pro, but one of the better pass blockers over the last two years. Would like to see him attack blitzers more consistently

Biggest concerns:
• Durability. Howard was forced to miss four full games in 2015 due to various injuries, and missed more than half of three other games over the last two years. May have been bad luck, may be a product of his physical running style
• Rarely utilized in the passing game with either team. Averaged around one catch per game despite going out on routes well over half of the time. That’s not to say he’s a bad receiver or can’t be a good one, we just haven’t seen enough to say one way or the other
• May not have the top-end speed to finish long runs all the way to the endzone without being caught in the NFL

Bottom line: Howard was a productive runner for UAB in 2014 and performed even better against stronger competition with Indiana last year. He graded significantly better as a runner than Tevin Coleman did with Indiana the year prior. To get the most out of him, he would be best used in a zone-heavy offense. Howard’s physicality is impressive and he consistently tacks on yardage at the end of runs through contact. The biggest concerns with Howard are his knack for being banged up last year and if his running style contributes to that frequency. If he can stay healthy, he may be the best option for an every-down back after Ezekiel Elliott.

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