With the New York Giants season coming to an end over the weekend at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, their focus can turn to building off the success off a playoff-type season and improving. Especially at the TE position. One name they should consider is OJ Howard from the University of Alabama.
Last year, it was trying to form a roster that could make the Giants competitive again; a $200 million defense and several key draft choices and the Giants went from a 6-10 season to 11-5 and reaching the postseason for the first time since they won Super Bowl XLVI some five years ago.
Now, it’s a different kind of off-season for the Giants, as they aren’t forming a roster to just be competitive, but one that can make a playoff contender even better and add pieces to a roster that can win games.
One of the things the Giants will desperately need heading into the off-season is a legitimate starting tight end; something this team hasn’t had for several years and needs to be addressed. Larry Donnell isn’t cutting it and wouldn’t expect on the roster next year. Will Tye is a decent backup and Jerell Adams is still pretty raw but has some potential. What does that equal to?
The Giants need a tight end and after watching Monday night’s National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson, the player that needs to be on the Giants radar for the 2017 NFL Draft is OJ Howard from Alabama.
Howard, a 6’6″ senior, came off a fine game in a losing effort against Clemson, making four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, will head into the NFL Draft as one of the top tight ends heading in; several mock drafts feel like Howard will be a late first round pick in late April; the Giants now have the 23rd overall pick in the first round.
For the longest time, a big part of the Giants offense was having a reliable pass-catching tight end, as it was a weapon Eli Manning used to utilize. From Jeremy Shockey to Kevin Boss to Jake Ballard and Martellus Bennett, they all thrived in the Giants offense. Brandon Myers was supposed to be that for the Giants in 2013, but failed to live up to expectations and was released after one season.
Since then, the Giants have been searching for that guy. They were hopeful with Donnell, but with injuries and inconsistent play, the team realized he wasn’t a long-term option, especially with Ben McAdoo relegating him to the bench mid-season for Tye.
Tye has potential and has moments where he makes plays. But Tye is better suited as the second tight end as opposed to being the starting guy and primary tight end in the offense.
With someone like Howard, he would excel in the Giants offense that has become pass-heavy over the last couple of seasons under the West Coast Offense; a scheme McAdoo implemented when he was the then-offensive coordinator for the Giants.
With weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Paul Perkins already in place for the Giants, a solid tight end who can expand the field and be a playmaker like OJ Howard is something the Giants should consider and with the 23rd pick in the first round, Howard should be on this team’s radar as an option for next season.