In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Colts selected 6 defensive players out of their 8 total picks. The only offensive players that were taken were OT Zack Banner from USC and RB Marlon Mack from South Florida. After the draft, the Colts signed their handful of Undrafted Free Agents (UDFA’s) to complete their roster. One of them was WR Bug Howard, out the University of North Carolina. The 6’5″ Senior recorded over 50 receptions for 827 yards, along with 8 touchdowns (16.54 YPC). At the NFL combine, he recorded a 33 1/8′ wingspan, 4.58 40, 37.5″ vertical jump, and his hands measure at 10 3/8”. By looking at his physical built, he is a NFL possession-type receiver.
By studying his tapes, a lot of things came into my attention. He has great ability to catch the ball in traffic, especially when it’s up the middle against zone coverage. He is also a pretty solid run blocker. His wingspan and large hands give him the ability to slow down the secondary. The only concern that I have for Bug is his ability to get open during man to man coverage. You have to be fast to beat a typical NFL cornerback. Bug Howard is not very agile when he runs his routes. This liability causes him to struggle against man to man coverage. Can his agility improve? Yes it can. Bug Howard might have to go through a vigorous amount of agility training during camp so he can get quicker. If he can improve his agility and speed, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be a easy replacement for Kamar Aiken (who signed a one year deal back in March). When you can find a UDFA that turns out to be a good NFL player, it’s a big win for the organization.
You remember Jeff Saturday and Gary Brackett right? They were UDFA’s and they panned out well for the colts! Just remember, UDFA’s get their chance in the NFL and very few come out on top. As a Colts fan, I would keep my eyes on Howard during training camp and the upcoming NFL pre-season. If he balls during the Pre-Season, this could be a very exciting WR for the Colts.