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Who the hell will they draft 2008: Georgia DE Marcus Howard

Marcus Howard can hit people, hard.

I don't have time to give metalmilitia what he wants, a weekly Stampede Blue podcast. I'm too busy blogging, helping set-up SB Nation's NFL Draft coverage, and moving from my crappy, rodent infested apartment to something that actually looks approved by the Department of Environmental Safety. What I do have time for is to second metalmilitia's 2 cents: The Colts should draft Georgia's Marcus Howard, and likely they will.

As we plow through this series, we will target and profile players we think the Colts will likely pick, not necessarily players we would like the Colts to pick. I mean, it would be great if the Colts could get Howie Long's kid and have him on a defensive line with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Ain't gonna happen. So, doing a profile on him is stupid. The same holds true for Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. Those guys are going in round one, and the Colts don't have a first round pick. Heck, doing a profile of Trevor Laws was borderline. If he falls to the late second round, that's a coup!

But a guy like Georgia's Marcus Howard is projected as a mid-rounder, meaning the third and fourth round is likely where he'll fall. And if the Colts get the kind of compensation they deserve for losing starters like Nick Harper and Dominic Rhodes last year to free agency, Indy could get a few cracks at Howard. First and foremost, Howard would be drafted as a DE, not a LBer. People think his frame (6'2, 240 pounds) makes him better suited for LBer. People thought the same of Robert Mathis (6'2, 240 pounds) when he went pro.

People are very often WRONG.

As I've always said, size is the most over-rated attribute in pro sports. Sure, it can help a player, but it should never be the overall deciding factor. Drew Brees is listed at 6'0, and he's five times the QB Philip Rivers (6'6) is. Marcus Howard is, in many ways, a Robert Mathis clone. He is explosive off the edge and possess an uncanny knack for generating turnovers. He spent most of his college career buried on the Georgia depth chart. When he got his chance to start his Senior year, he exploded! He had 10.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss in 2007. He was the MVP of the Sugar Bowl, notching 3 sacks against Colt Brennan and the explosive Hawaii offense. Howard's sub-4.45 40 time caught the attention of scouts at the Combine.

Outstanding timed speed...Great athleticism...Very quick with an excellent burst..A terror off the edge...Great range and does a fantastic job in pursuit..Superb agility and changes directions well...Has fluid hips to turn and run in coverage...A reliable tackler...Offers some versatility...Nice special teams potential...Has a lot of upside.

The part in bold is a major reason he could be attractive for the Colts. Pass rushing depth is important, but so are good special teams players. With Howard, the Colts could fill two needs. Howard is also a high character person who, despite doubts about his ability to shed blockers, is a very reliable tackler.


Knowing all this, it is very likely the Colts will look to draft Howard. He fits the Cover 2-style pass rusher type, and as a back-up pass rusher and special teams player, Howard could grow into a complete DE over time; just like Robert Mathis did.