With the 2022 NFL Draft right around the corner, there are a ton of questions about who will be taken where. This is the first year in a while where the majority of the first round picks are up in the air.
The biggest questions around the draft right now surround the quarterback position. North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell has been an NFL prospect for a few years, but he didn’t really take a big step forward in his final year with the Tar Heels. Howell played three seasons for North Carolina and statistically regressed in his final two years. Last season, Howell threw for 3,056 yards and 24 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He had a career low in yards and touchdowns with a career high in interceptions.
QB Sam Howell: Scouting Report
The big pro for Howell is his ability to throw the deep ball. Scouts really like his arm and accuracy throwing the ball down the field. He’s great throwing balls outside the numbers and on point with timing. Howell is also underrated running the ball and can make plays on his feet.
A big negative with Howell is his inability to escape pressures. If he struggles escaping in college, it’s only going to get tougher in the NFL. He also had an easy playbook in college that consisted many RPO’s. While most NFL teams run RPO’s, the playbooks will be much more complex.
Mock Draft landing spots
Howell has been mocked to a ton of different teams. He’ll likely go someone around the middle of the first round to the middle of the second. However, it’s unknown where he’ll be drafted. Howell is a project that could play the back up role for a year or two before getting a starting job. The most consistent picks out there for Howell are the Titans or Colts in the second round.
NFL.com has Howell listed as “Will Eventually Be Average Starter” which would mean he probably will be a backup for the first few years.
“I promise I’m not making this pick solely because Mel has drafted the first four quarterbacks. Let Howell develop — his footwork, for one, needs some work — behind Jameis Winston and see what you have. His touch on the deep ball stands out on tape.” - McShay
“The Lions should consider quarterback wherever there’s a good feel for it after No. 2 overall and after passing on the position in the first round, it’s worth taking a cheaper look at Howell’s polished arm and athletic skill set beyond Jared Goff.”
Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports): No. 32, Detroit Lions
“The Lions are happy to grab Howell with a fifth-year option at this stage in Round 1.”
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
His first few years will definitely be learning years. Howell may only play late in blowout games as a rookie which would make sense. He needs some time learning under a veteran quarterback.
Fantasy impact: Career
Howell needs to land in a perfect spot that fits his style if he wants to have success early on. His ability to make plays with his feet gives him an advantage over a number of other guys. It’s hard to predict what his future holds prior to the draft, but in the right system, Howell could put up big numbers a few years into his career.