The Houston Texans selected Tytus Howard, an offensive tackle from Alabama State with the 23rd overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
With two minutes before 10 p.m. CST, the Houston Texans made their first round selection, using the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on offensive tackle Tytus Howard from Alabama State.
The pick came as a slight surprise to some fans and draft experts, as many people had tackle Cody Ford of Oklahoma being projected as the team’s first round selection. Now that the pick has been selected, just who is Tytus Howard, the newest member of the Texans?
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At 6-5 and 322 pounds, Howard will bring a heavy presence to a battered Houston offensive line. At the conclusion of the 2018 NFL season, Pro Football Focus had Houston’s offensive line as the 23rd ranked offensive line in the entire league. It’s not a guarantee that Howard will start day one, but with question marks at both tackle positions, Howard will most likely slide into the left or the right spot when the first game on the schedule arrives.
When Howard originally came to Alabama State, he walked onto the field as a tight end. Tight end was already a huge transition for the future first round pick, as he played quarterback in high school. Since that time, he has put on nearly 80 pounds and has grown two inches. Due to his size, Howard’s transition into offensive tackle made sense.
One reason Howard most likely flew under the radar of most draft experts was his status as a small school tackle. A glance at his play versus the Auburn Tigers of the SEC this past season should settle any worries that Texans fan should have. Howard was a dominant force on the field for Alabama State, plus he was selected to the first team All-Conference team in the South Western Athletic Conference.
Over his five-year career with the Alabama State Hornets, Howard started 34 games, with 21 of those starts coming in the past two seasons. In his senior year — when Howard racked up 10 of those starts — he started on both edges of the line. One of the traits that give Howard the ability to be so versatile is his wingspan, measuring in at 34 inches in total. His hands are on the same scale, at 10 5/8 inches.
According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Howard possess rare ability in both his pass and run blocking techniques as stated in his draft profile on Howard:
"“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,” said Zierlein. “While he will be dinged for level of competition, his upside was on full display with his play against Auburn,”."
Howard will most likely battle for a starting position on the offensive line when training camp arrives. Projections show Houston targeting a guard later in the draft, but seeing another tackle being selected by the Texans wouldn’t be surprising.
Currently, returning starter Julie’n Davenport and newly signed free agent Matt Kalil are expected to compete for the starting left tackle position. Seeing Howard used the opposite of whomever wins that position battle would not be unexpected either.