WarpathInsiders.com has learned that draft prospect Thomas Howard paid a formal visit to Redskins Park earlier this week. The UTEP linebacker is expected to be a second-round selection in the April 2-30 NFL draft.
Howard is a very athletic linebacker who would be a great fit in the weak side linebacker spot that used to be occupied by LaVar Arrington. At 6-3, 239 he runs a 4.5 in the 40. Scouts call that an excellent size-speed ratio, physicists might refer to it in terms of great mass and high velocity; we'll just call him a big, fast guy. He was originally a walk on a UTEP, but he quickly persuaded to coaches that he was worth a scholarship.
Here is Scout.com's prospect profile on Howard; look for more on him in the coming days.
Bio: Three-year starter and All-Conference selection the past two years. Totaled 85/7.5/3 as a senior after 62/8/14 the prior year.
Pos: Athletic linebacker with outstanding size/speed numbers. Breaks down well, quick to the sidelines and is effective in space. Plays with good degree of suddenness, flashing on the scene and offers terrific skills in pursuit. Quickly locates the ball and works to make plays. Easily runs downfield with backs or tight ends in coverage.
Neg: Undersized, easily blocked from the action and not a strong tackler. Inefficient and does not consistently take proper angles to the play.
Analysis: An exceptional athlete, Howard offers plenty of upside for the next level. Has starting potential once he improves his playing strength and efficiency on the field.