Photo of Jordan Howard
Drafted By: Bears

Combine Results

Grade
6.1 ?
  • 16 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 34.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 122.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

The loss of Matt Forte hurts, but don't be surprised if Jordan Howard becomes the primary back in Chicago. With his size and downhill power, he's a more traditional back who can close out a game and endure the elements late in the season. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'0" Height
  • 32 1/4" Arm Length
  • 230LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands

Overview

When Alabama-Birmingham decided to shut down its football program before the 2015 season, the Hoosiers found an outstanding player waiting for a new opportunity in Howard. The Alabama native had two very productive years for the Blazers, who stood by him during the recruiting process after he suffered a torn meniscus and a stress fracture in his pelvis during his junior year in high school. Howard earned five starts as a true freshman in 2013 (881 yards, 6.1 yards per rush average, two touchdowns) and then exploded for first-team All-Conference USA honors the next season. He actually set a UAB rushing record with 1,587 yards on a workhorse-level 306 carries in 2014, scoring 13 times. The step up to a Power Five conference didn't faze Howard, as he won over Big Ten coaches for first-team All-Conference honors (1,213 rush yards, 6.2 yards per rush, nine touchdowns; 11 catches, 106 yards, one touchdown receiving). Rushing for 174 yards against a tough Iowa squad, as well as 238 on 35 carries against Michigan, showed he has the talent to succeed at any level.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds
Short shuttle: 4.34 seconds
3-cone: 7.14 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Showed ability to step his game up against top competition at both UAB and Indiana. Rushed for at least 145 yards in every full game he played. Natural runner who combines tempo with a special feel for spacial relationships. Pro­-ready vision gives him outstanding feel for run lane developments at the line of scrimmage and onto the second level. Consistently chooses best angles and creases for optimal yardage. For a big back, can make himself skinny through tight quarters. Decisive and punishing. Drops pads and accelerates into contact to batter would-­be tacklers on the second and third levels. Drives legs through arm tackles and goes about his work. Hard-­charging when it’s third- or fourth-and-short. Showed potential in screen game as receiver.

Weaknesses

Doesn't have sudden one-­cut ability and has to tap brakes to hit it downhill on outside zone runs. One-speed runner. Can be chased down by backside sprinters before getting to the second level. Takes big hits due to bruising running style. Scouts concerned about ability to stay healthy. Missed four games and parts of three others with knee and ankle injuries. Upright pads and narrow base leads to slips and balance issues when trying to make sharp cuts. Rarely factored into passing game at UAB or Indiana.

Draft Projection

Rounds 2 or 3

Sources Tell Us

"He's the best pure running back in this draft. I've coached some good ones and he's what you look for. His injuries will knock him back a round or so, and he's not as well-rounded as Ezekiel Elliott is, but I think this kid is the best runner in this year's draft." -- AFC running backs coach

NFL Comparison

Arian Foster

Bottom Line

Howard has the optimal size and talent needed to strap the pads on and become a productive workhorse for a team looking for one, true lead back. Howard's vision, power and subtle shiftiness allow him to create and break tackles along the way. Staying healthy in the NFL is a legitimate concern for Howard considering his relentless running style. If he can stay healthy, Howard has the ability to become an instant factor as an NFL starter.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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