2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: North Carolina QB Sam Howell

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

The University of North Carolina, while known for putting student-athletes into the NBA, are quietly doing the same in football. Last year, two running backs, as well as two wide receivers, found their way into the NFL by way of the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, as a result of that, QB Sam Howell was left to fight for himself this season. While it hasn’t necessarily gone to plan for Howell and the Tar Heels, he’s still put the program into a competitive position. In this scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Sam Howell a top 2022 NFL Draft prospect, as well as how his traits and abilities translates into the NFL.

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Sam Howell 40 Time

I expect Sam Howell to post a 40 time in the 4.7 range. On film, Howell possesses good speed and acceleration for the position. In fact, I think he looks much faster than 4.7 on film. However, there are instances where I can see him struggle to accelerate quickly, such as when he’s evading a collapsed pocket with defensive linemen in pursuit. Additionally, Sam Howell also appears to struggle against corners with average-to-good range.


Sam Howell Injury History

NFL scouts and front office decision-makers will be relieved to find that Sam Howell has a clean injury history. Assuming that the North Carolina quarterback is able to go the rest of the season without an injury, he should have a green light from the medicals at the NFL Combine.


Sam Howell Scouting Report

  • Good Velocity On Throws Outside The Numbers
  • Makes Accurate Throws On Short And Intermediate Throws Across The Field
  • Good Contact Balance To Remain Upright And Keep The Play Alive
  • Poor Poise In The Pocket When It Begins To Collapse
  • Fails To Set Feet In The Pocket When Pressured
  • Inconsistent Accuracy On Throws Downfield From The Pocket

Sam Howell is a three-year player for the University of North Carolina. Howell is a quarterback that has the capabilities of making all the throws necessary at the next level. Has adequate height and solid weight for the position. He’s a bit undersized when compared to the league average, although it should be noted that others at his height have had success.

Howell has good accuracy on throws from between the hashes to outside the numbers. Has good accuracy on throws needed to be made between defenders. Possesses solid accuracy on intermediate throws that are made on the run outside the pocket. Ability to throw with anticipation on throws in the flat to RBs is solid. Has a solid ability to progress through reads quickly and accurately. Good velocity on short and intermediate throws to outside the numbers. His contact balance and ability to remain upright is good.

Sam Howell’s accuracy on throws downfield is adequate. Has a tendency to place throws high on simple throws in a clean pocket. Makes adequate decisions to escape the pocket efficiently when it’s collapsing. Displays marginal awareness inside the pocket to locate looming pressure. His ability to navigate a collapsing pocket and remain poised is marginal. Finally, he has an adequate ability to set his feet, with pressure looming, to make accurate throws in the pocket.


Sam Howell NFL Draft Projection

I currently have Sam Howell listed as the 19th overall prospect on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 200 Big Board. Howell had a fantastic sophomore season in 2020, but has struggled this season with lesser talent. Additionally, his offensive line hasn’t done him any favors this season. With prospects like Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett continuing to rise up draft boards, Sam Howell could see his draft stock begin to fall.

Ultimately, I think Sam Howell is a late first to early second round NFL Draft prospect if he declares for the 2022 NFL Draft. With that being said, it’s my belief that the situation that Howell is drafted into matters an enormous amount. Howell’s struggles in the pocket this season could follow him into the NFL is he isn’t protected by a solid offensive line. However, as outlined in this scouting report, Sam Howell has the ability to make every throw that a quarterback has to execute. His upside long-term is going to be coveted by NFL front offices.

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