Howard Loving UMD, Plus Scouting Report

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Here is an interview and scouting report of Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) defensive tackle Keiron Howard.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) visited Suitland (District Heights, Md.) for a Prince George's County Classic bout inside Maryland's Byrd Stadium Sept. 6, and the Wolverines pitched a shutout, 28-0.

Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview the Terps targets in the game, including Potomac defensive tackle Keiron Howard. The 6-foot-3, 293-pound Howard ended up with four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in the game. Check out his scouting report and interview below:

Scouting Report

Howard plays both the three- and five-technique for Potomac, but we see him as a 0- or 1-technique nose tackle at Maryland. Regardless of where he lines up, this guy’s a burly, ferocious lineman with a mean streak. Howard has a wide, powerful frame and superior strength, and he uses that to push into the backfield. Often, Howard draws double-teams because he’s just too darn strong for many high school offensive linemen to contain. A plugger, space-eater type, Howard does a good job taking on said blocks and freeing up the linebackers to attack the gaps. He also showed the ability to disengage relatively easily and collapse the pocket, though he could stand to be more consistent in that area.

Howard is adept at picking through the trash and locating backs in traffic too. And once he gets his hands on the runner, it’s over. This guy’s not an arm tackler; he hits hard, and he finishes plays with authority. Though Howard projects as an interior lineman, he had a couple nice plays from the five-technique as well. He showed the ability to get around end and make stops on the edge. Though not the fleetest of foot in space, the effort is there and he pursues hard.

Howard does have some work to do before he makes an impact at Maryland, though. Namely, he has to work on his pad level, as too often he stands straight up and relies on his upper-body strength instead of generating power from his base. He looked at bit stiff at times, and that allowed opposing blockers to get into his body. Suitland’s linemen were a tough, physical bunch, and they were able to stalemate Howard, and once in awhile push him off the line. Moreover, Howard has to hone his footwork and become more nimble in traffic. His feet tend to get garbled or crossed up, keeping him from slicing through gaps or effectively moving laterally down the line.

He also must develop more acceleration and quickness off the line. He doesn’t get out of his stance as quick as some elite defensive tackles or move well enough yet to attack the gaps. Howard has to make sure he develops a consistent initial jab, too, as sometimes his hand placement is off, rendering his point-of-attack strike less effective. In addition, Howard could stand to vary his rush moves if he wants to be more than just a plugger. Right now he’s a straight bull-rusher, relying on pure strength to get into the backfield. Finally, he has to continue learning the game and develop more field awareness as he was called out a couple times during the game for lining up over the wrong gap.


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