Tar Heel wide receiver Bug Howard was not one of six teammates who heard their name called during the NFL Draft, but he has still found a home in the NFL. Howard has been signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent.
From Matt’s profile of him, Howard improved all four years at Carolina, breaking out with six catches for over 100 yards in the 2015 opener against South Carolina. It all culminated in Howard’s senior season, where he was the team’s second leading receiver. Howard had 53 catches for 827 yards in the 2016 season. His eight touchdowns led the team. One of those was the game-winning touchdown against Pitt, capping off a Tar Heels’ comeback.
Size and hands are by far Howard’s best attributes. He’s 6-4 and 221 pounds, which makes him one of the bigger receivers in this year’s draft. He also dropped just four passes in his time at UNC. That combination can definitely be useful in some capacity at the next level.
The main thing that can be used against Howard is his lack of speed. For whatever it’s worth, he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine, which was near the low end for receivers.
Even though Howard’s path to finding a home in the NFL was a bit less than conventional, he’ll still have the opportunity to contribute on Sundays. That makes seven Tar Heels (so far) from last year’s team to make it to the next level, and that is great for them and for the Carolina program. Best of luck, Bug!