Sam Howell 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Sam Howell NFL Draft

Sam Howell NFL Draft Overview
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’-1”
Weight: 220 pounds
School: North Carolina

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2022 NFL Draft: Sam Howell Scouting Report

After three years at North Carolina, quarterback Sam Howell decided to skip his Senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s hard to blame the young man for his decision, as his collective body of work ensures that he’ll be one of the first passers off the board. During the 2021 season, Howell completed 216 of his 351 attempts for 3,051 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while recording a 90.9 PFF grade. 

Howell began his collegiate career as North Carolina’s starter as a true freshman. During his first season against this vaunted competition, Howell completed 68% of his passes for 3,636 yards, 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He followed that up by completing 68% of his passes for 3,555 yards, 30 touchdowns, and seven interceptions as a sophomore. 

Strengths

  • Possesses ideal arm strength and touch for a deep passing offense;
  • Mechanically sound – hardly any wasted motion when throwing;
  • Not afraid to go out there and sling it;
  • Strong runner that can shed tackles;
  • Keeps the ball out of harm’s way – rarely makes unforced errors;
  • Shows potential to buy time in the pocket with footwork;
  • Only 21 years old – still has time to grow.

Weaknesses

  • Turns to his legs when his first read isn’t there;
  • Not a good enough athlete to win as a dual threat against NFL competition – will need to win within the pocket;
  • Not much of an anticipation passer – needs to see it first;
  • Room to improve when throwing against pressure;
  • Took a bit of a step back in 2021 – was better in 2020

NFL Comparison: Less impressive Josh Allen

Teams With Need At Position: Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: First Round Pick

Bottom Line on Sam Howell

Sam Howell is probably not one of the 10 or 15 best players in this class, but when you factor in the importance of his position, it’s easy to see him going off the board early. The second you turn on the tape, it’s easy to see why a team could fall in love with this guy. Howell has a fantastic arm, and his combination of strength and accuracy gives him one of the safest floors in this entire class. Additionally, he takes care of the football, is mechanically sound, and has multiple years of impressive tape. In short, there is a clear path for this guy to turn into a franchise quarterback. 

However, there are some red flags here. Howell always looks to throw first, but if his first read isn’t there, he’ll usually turn to his legs to try and move the ball forwards. This worked in college, but he’s not athletic enough to get away with this in the NFL – nobody is confusing him with Lamar Jackson or even Jalen Hurts. While he normally runs in the face of pressure, he’s rather inconsistent on the occasions where he stands in the pocket and throws with a man in his face. 

If you want to be an optimist, you could blame some of this on Howell’s terrible supporting cast. Justin Herbert received similar criticisms during his time in college, and it’s safe to say he turned out ok. Ultimately, Howell’s arm talent and mechanics make him a safe bet to be a good quarterback, and if he can improve his processing ability, he has the chance to be great. Don’t be surprised if he’s the first passer off the board come April.

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