With receivers becoming bigger and faster, NFL coaches and general managers have begun to place a premium on big, physical corners who can run. At 5'11 and 200 pounds, Darelle Revis is arguably the best at the position today.
Teams have become concerned about whether corners 5'10" and shorter have the ball skills, instincts and closing speed to make up for their stature.
At 6'1", 200 pounds, Travis Howard has the size part of his game all figured out, but how does he fair in the actual skill of the game?
Name/DOB: Travis Howard | unknown
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
Major: Family Resource Management
It took three years for Howard to break into the Buckeyes' starting lineup in 2011, but he refused to relinquish it once it was his.
Howard redshirted his entire freshman season, followed by a quiet 2009 in which he made two tackles in 10 games on special teams. He eventually earned himself some more playing time in the 2010 season, which led to his starting corner spot the following year.
As stated on the previous slide, Howard didn't come to Ohio State and immediately impress. It took him a bit of time to make his way into the defensive huddle, but he earned every minute of playing time he received.
In two years as a starter he managed to pick of six passes. An incredible feat in just 23 games. He wasn't particularly active in racking up tackles from week-to-week, but was steadfast in covering the receiver he was assigned to.
*Includes 30-yard TD return vs. Penn State
**Stats courtesy of Ohio State Athletics
Weight: 200 lbs.
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A
Pro Day Results
40-yard Dash: 4.59 sec
Broad Jump: 10'01"
Vertical Jump: 33"
Three-Cone Drill: 6.75 sec
20-yard Shuttle: 4.14 sec
20-yard Dash: 2.67 sec
10-yard Dash: 1.49 sec
225-lb Bench Press: 7 reps
*Pro Day results courtesy NFL Draft Scout
Howard has very good height and length for a cornerback and his elongated road to the starting lineup does not spell elite to anyone involved. Howard will need to work on his backpedal and his overall footwork to even be selected in the upcoming draft.
Howard was selected first-team All-Big 10 (Media) and was an Honorable Mention selection for first-team All-Big 10 (Coaches) for the 2012 college football season.
He was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season for accepting improper benefits.
Two-year starter who posted 40 tackles, four interceptions, two pass breakups as a senior after 41/2/3 the prior year.
Howard also lettered four times between 2009 and 2012.
Here's what Bleacher Report's own Ryan Alfieri had to say about Howard's skill set:
Howard's game is ripe with issues in technique and awareness, but long, tall corners with the ability to catch the football and get their noses dirty in the run game tend to get drafted.
Because of his inability to turn and run in man coverage, Howard could be a prime candidate to make the move to safety. However, because of his average awareness in zone coverage, perhaps putting on a good 10 to 15 pounds would allow him to embrace more of an in-the-box role as a strong safety.
In either case, Howard is a very raw player who is going to take some time to develop to get the most out of his skill set.