2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sam Howell

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sam Howell

by February 7, 2022 1 comment

Sam Howell is a polarizing prospect because of his intriguing traits, but also clear areas for improvement. He entered college as a four-star quarterback and has met expectations as the start for the last three years. Howell holds many school records including career passing yards, touchdowns, and consecutive games with a passing touchdown, but North Carolina has not lived up to early-season hype in his years.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Sam Howell
Jersey: No. 7
Position: Quarterback
School: North Carolina
Class: Junior
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 220 lbs

Games Watched: Virginia Tech (2021), Notre Dame (2021), Pittsburgh (2021)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Arm Talent (14.75/15)

Howell has good arm talent. He can make throws downfield and has the ability to throw outside the numbers without any issues. Howell has plenty of zip on short throws and can make throws into tight windows. If he is pressured, he can speed up his mechanics, but often relies on scrambling instead. When he had a clean pocket, he showed the talent to make tremendous throws, but with the worry of pressure, he often scrambled.

Accuracy (14/15)

For the most part, Howell is accurate. He can make difficult throws down the field or outside the numbers with fairly good accuracy and does not often make mistakes on short throws. Howell will miss a few throws, but accuracy is not an issue. When he was not pressured, he made many tight window throws showing off potential for above-average NFL level accuracy.

Decision Making (10/15)

Howell’s decision-making is a major area he can improve on. He possesses the athletic tools to be successful but can have lapses when it comes to making the right read. Often, he will lock onto a read and struggle to find other receivers before the pocket collapses. Sometimes, he scrambles prematurely with his check down option open and gets caught, but most of the time he makes the right decision when choosing to run.

Progressions (6/10)

As mentioned earlier, Howell does not always make it through his progressions. He will lock onto one of his receivers and force himself into a tough situation. When Howell does not look at all his reads he often resorts to scrambling or making a tough throw to make up for it. He should look for his check down more to avoid taking as many hits in the NFL.

Pocket Awareness (7/10)

Another area of improvement for Howell at the next level will be his pocket awareness. When he locks onto reads he can lose sight of unblocked blitzes and be dropped for a sack. Howell’s mobility allows him to evade pressure when he sees it but sometimes leaves the pocket too early. Since he relies on mobility, Howell took a lot of hits in college and should look to reduce that to prolong his career.

Anticipation/Touch (9/10)

One of the most intriguing areas of Howell’s game is his touch. Down the field, he has made difficult throws with excellent accuracy. Sometimes, he will miss on a wheel route, but most of the time he makes difficult throws look easy. Howell’s anticipation can improve, but he has shown plenty of capability in the area of making tough throws.

Out of Structure (9.75/10)

When a play breaks down, most of the time, Howell can make a play. He can throw with multiple arm angles with velocity around defenders. Howell also is a great scrambler so he can avoid pressure and find gaps to rush if he feels the need to do so. His scrambling and ability to throw from multiple arm angles make him tiring for opposing defenses.

Mobility (10/10)

Howell’s mobility is one of his best traits. He is able to evade rushes with ease which makes him a threat in multiple areas. Howell does a good job of stepping up in the pocket but also scrambling to the outside to pick up yards. He is a danger for defenses on designed runs because of his elusiveness. Howell’s mobility gives his offensive coordinator plenty of room for creativity with play design.

Mechanics (5/5)

He has good mechanics and does an excellent job of keeping his body aligned with where it needs to be and has a decent release. Howell’s arm talent is good and his mechanics maximize his capabilities pushing the ball downfield or outside of the numbers. Mechanics are not an issue for Howell and will boost his stock heading into the draft.

Player Summary

Howell is an intriguing prospect because of his mobility and arm strength. The North Carolina product can scramble well and evade pressure, but also launch the ball downfield. Howell is mostly accurate and possesses good mechanics to succeed in the NFL. He may struggle early on as he adjusts to NFL pressure and learns how to progress through his reads better, but he has a lot of potential. Howell is good at escaping sacks, but his arm talent would shine with a good offensive line as he was very successful with a clean pocket when he had it.

Rookie Projections: Low-End Starter

Third Year Projections: Average Starter

Final Grade (85.5/100): Late First Round

Player Comp: Baker Mayfield


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Kamran Nia is a journalist from Los Angeles, California.

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