Houston Texans have a looming decision to extend a member of their offensive line
By Peter Manfre
Has Howard continued to get better as a pro?
One of the first areas a team looks at when deciding if a player is worth extending is how they performed for the franchise already. In the draft process, the emphasis is typically on projectability, and there is some of that in extensions; however, teams know what they have in a player barring injury.
Unfortunately for Howard, he was thrown all over the line of scrimmage during the Bill O’Brien era, again when Tunsil got hurt, and it took a few years to develop due to that. The peak of Howard’s career was a four-game stretch in 2021 when he was the highest-rated pass-blockers at left tackle during weeks 12-14. Howard's PFF grade during that stretch was a stellar 89.9, but the Texans already have one of the best left tackles in the game. It is good to know Howard has that versatility.
We are here to grade Howard at the position he'll will play, which is at right tackle. A quick look into PFF’s grading of Howard shows improvement year-by-year. In his abysmal rookie season, he finished with a grade of 59.4, followed by the next three years of 62.1,51.4, and 67.9, respectively. The change was primarily due to his run blocking increasing from 51.2 and his worst, 42.7, to a career-best 64.5 last season. His pass blocking was always the strength of his game, as he rated right around 70 year-in-and-year-out. Those numbers are good but do not fall into the top ten at his position.