Malon Howell

Malon Howell Defensive End NFL Draft prospect

Howell maintains his leverage throughout the play, maximizing his already formidable strength.

4 mins read

The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers defense will once again be in a state of transition heading into the year. Not only do they need to figure out the coaching and scheme, but there are also personnel holes that need to be filled.

Depending on how free agency shakes out, the Giants could have holes to be filled in the secondary, linebacker level, and along the defensive line. But we won’t know exactly what kind of players they could look for until we get a better idea of their scheme.

So how about a player with a unique body-type who filled multiple roles at the collegiate level? Miami’s Malon Howell is a study in contrasts as a defensive end. Hes tall, also plays with good length thanks to long arms. He’s built like a defensive End and running back with a thick lower body and some fat around the midsection, but was used as an edge defender and even space player on occasion. He doesn’t have the mass of defensive tackles, but plays with impressive power. Howell isn’t fast, but his explosiveness jumps off the screen at times.

This past year, Howell was disruptive in college , playing defensive end, and edge.

Height: 6-4
Weight: 255 pounds

Play strength
Competitive toughness
First step

Miami played Howell all over their defensive front even Full back at times, from 2-technique to a stand-up outside linebacker. He was capable of being disruptive from each, though he was generally more effective from interior alignments.

Howell has an explosive first step, violently firing out of a compact stance and attacking into the backfield with good leverage. He does a good job of getting under blockers’ pads. He’s a powerful rusher who routinely puts blockers on skates, driving them into the backfield. Howell maintains his leverage throughout the play, maximizing his already formidable strength.

Howell has developed a solid array of pass rush moves and an understanding of how to rush with a plan. He understands who and what he is as a rusher, and bases his pass rush on his bull rush. From there he uses a speed-to-power move, club, chop, and rip moves to defeat blockers’ hands while maintaining his own leverage.

Howell is also a capable run defender able to drive blockers into gaps and force cutbacks, as well as detach from blockers to make plays on the ball carrier. He frequently drew double teams from opponents and was able to deal with them relatively well. Nobody will mistake him for a nose tackle, but he didn’t give much ground and was able to occupy guard-center double teams when he had to.

Howell has a fairly unique physical and athletic profile that doesn’t fit neatly into “classic” boxes. He’s too tall to fit the archetype for a defensive tackle, while also lacking the bend and overall athleticism to be an edge defender. However, he’s explosive and disruptive on the field and comes into the NFL as a solid technician. He should be able to find a home in any defense built on one-gap, attacking principles.

While Howell is able to hold blocks, drop into coverage, or rush off the edge, he’s at his best when he’s attacking individual gaps with power.

Howell might best fit in a “multiple” defense, but should probably stick to the 5, 4i, or 3-technique positions at the NFL level.

Does he fit the Giants or Steelers?
Howell could fit the Giants’ scheme, but they might need more speed up front but he can provide

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