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Texans pick Alabama State's Howard in first round

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - No FCS prospect probably ascended more among NFL scouts last season than Alabama State's athletic offensive tackle Tytus Howard.

The best days may be ahead of the All-SWAC big man. The Houston Texans are confident in that after drafting Howard with the No. 23 overall pick in the first round Thursday night.

"Just like I imagined," Alabama State Donald Hill-Eley said of the highest draft pick in school history. "He saw his dream, he worked toward his dream and now he gets to realize his dream."

Howard followed a former Alabama State teammate into the NFL. Offensive tackle Jylan Ware went to the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round two years ago.

Howard is a former high school quarterback who began his career in the Southwestern Athletic Conference as a tight end. He moves well in his 6-foot-5, 322-pound frame, has 85 1/8-inch arms to keep defenders in front of him and reaches the second level on run blocks.

He made the STATS FCS All-America second team last year.

"Talk about the feet, the balance and the athleticism, he has that," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. "He's still a work-in-progress, but here's a kid that's getting better and better, obviously adjusting to the position change because he's an athlete."

Assessed NFL.com: "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."

Updated April 26, 2019

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