We are going to start our UDFA profile series by explaining why it is we are doing this. The first reason is that well it’s the offseason, it’s been a week since the draft and frankly we still can’t get enough. The second reason is because many of the players being brought in as Free Agents or on try-outs deserve to get their name out there and have people know what they can offer to the Bills. To date the Bills have brought in 24 players for their Rookie and 1st Year player minicamp that will run from 5/11-5/13.
To lead off our UDFA profiles we wanted to go with the biggest name of all the guys we signed. We think that Stanford SAF Delano Howell has a great shot at making the Bills 53 man roster. We don’t exactly have great depth at the safety position and Howell comes into camp with a ton of talent.
Howell was arguably the most impactful player on Stanford’s defense in 2010. During his junior year he was an active playmaker who could make plays back in coverage (5 INT’s) as well come up and make plays in the box. He is a very good athlete who shows off a good closing burst to go along with some lateral agility. Howell’s best trait though may be his instincts as he does a good job reading the play as it happens and staying home on play action fakes.
There are some concerns about Howell’s durability long term, not because his 2011 injuries were serious but rather because he is somewhat undersized and nagging injuries tend to happen more frequently to smaller player. Howell doesn’t have great top end speed and likely is not going to be a guy you bring down into the slot to go into man coverage with a TE one on one. This is only further compounded by some stiffness that you can see in Howell’s hips which can create separation and give teams easy receptions.
If Howell is to make this team he’ll need to continue to show off his sound fundamental tackling ability, along with some improved coverage techniques. The key for Howell will be in his ability to keep the play in front of him, if he can do that he should be able to show off what made him such a dangerous safety in 2010.
Measurements: 5107, 210 lbs., 9 ¼” Hand, 31 ¼” Arm, 74” Wingspan
Testing: 21 Bench Reps, 1.58 10 Yd Split, 2.62 20 Yd Split, 4.61 40, 33” Vertical, 10’00” Broad, 4.15 Shuttle, 6.97 3 Cone
2011-60 Tackle, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 5 INT, 1 FF, 5 PBU
Career-196 Tackle, 3.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 7 INT’ 4 FF, 12 PBU, 1 QBH