Former Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard has all the tools needed to succeed in the NFL.
The challenge is getting him to realize that potential.
At 6'3", 301 pounds, Howard was a physical force at times, disrupting the backfield with tenacious effort and surprising speed for his size.
Howard put on a show at this year's NFL combine as well, highlighted by a time of 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash—almost unheard of for a defensive lineman.
But consistency and work ethic are major concerns, as Howard had a knack for disappearing and taking plays off during his time as a Gator. At times he would look completely disinterested, allowing himself to be taken out of the play immediately.
Despite the inconsistent play at times, Howard's senior season was by far his best campaign with the Gators—racking up 65 tackles and 5.5 sacks to go along with two forced fumbles.
Howard's rare blend of size and speed allows him to line up anywhere on the defensive front and remain effective, provided he's motivated and engaged.
Here's a look at some of Howard's strengths per a CBS Sports scouting report.
Looks fluid when moving laterally and is a flexible and natural bender. Gets to plays in a hurry with smooth pursuit and penetration skills. Has very good awareness and uses his eyes well with field sense. Does a nice job getting his hands up at the line to knock down passes. Has a versatile skill-set with experience lining up at several different defensive line spots over his career.
And his weaknesses:
Doesn't always finish and too easily gets locked up, struggling to shed. Has streaky snap anticipation and needs to develop better reaction skills. Recorded too many facemask and offsides penalties, struggling with poor discipline … easily jumps off hard counts.
Questions of discipline and work ethic are about the only things stopping Howard from being regarded as a top-tier D-lineman in this year's class. Provided with a stable environment and sound coaching staff, Howard could flourish in the NFL, and even have an immediate impact in pass-rushing situations.
His versatility will be an asset moving forward, but if Howard doesn't erase the concerns that caused his draft stock to slip—his time in the NFL may be short-lived.
The Seahawks add solid DT depth to their line and look to stop the prolific run games they'll no doubt see in San Francisco (Gore/Hunter/Bradshaw/newly-drafted LaMichael James) and Arizona (Beanie Wells).