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Houston Texans Sign Ra'Zahn Howard After 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft

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The defensive tackle from Purdue wasn't drafted today, but he still finds himself embarking on a career in the NFL with the Texans.

Ra'Zahn'd.
Ra'Zahn'd.
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL had its annual Supplemental Draft today, and none of the six players eligible were drafted.

Yet that doesn't mean that one of those six didn't become a member of the Houston Texans today (tip o' the cap to bhsman for the heads up on this news).

Who is Ra'Zahn Howard? Optimum Scouting says:

Howard spent most of his three-year career at Purdue as a starting defensive tackle before being suspended in January of 2016 because of academic issues. In May of 2016, Howard decided to leave the Purdue football program and apply for the NFL Supplemental Draft. Howard possesses a strong upper body and hands that allow him to shed blocks by throwing offensive linemen off of him. Howard can get driven backward when playing too high, but he moves well laterally, which makes it difficult for offensive linemen to stay engaged with him. At 325 pounds, Howard moves well. Howard has a high motor, running sideline to sideline to make plays. The negative to his hustle is that Howard does not have great stamina. Howard was a part of a defensive tackle rotation at Purdue often taking entire drives off to catch his breath. Howard keeps his eyes up when rushing the quarterback and knows when to disengage and change directions. He also uses plus vision to read plays.

He displayed good play recognition and was able to shut down a wide receiver screen from his defensive tackle position. Howard wraps up ball carriers and uses his strength to prevent them from breaking free. Howard is able to push the pocket for quarterbacks when he stays low. Howard’s lack of explosiveness hurt his pass rushing ability. Howard was often doubled at Purdue. He struggled to shed the double teams, but by requiring two blockers Howard helped free up other pass rushers. With his size, Howard can be a part of a defensive tackle rotation at the next level, but he will need to work on his stamina and conditioning. Howard’s suspension for academic issues is not as much of a concern as other potential violations, such as those that are drug or crime related. Howard’s upper body strength and motor are what teams will be most impressed with and may cause teams to take a chance on him.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar has more on Howard here. What's your reaction to the news?