"His best football is in front of him," a commonly utilized phrase in scouting report prospects should love reading about themselves this time of year, even if there is an underlying message about said prospect underachieving in college.
And it's a scouting term that should be the key selling point in a case for Sam Howell to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Because, we didn't see the best of Howell in 2021. And, by now, you know what catalyzed his fall from preseason draft darling. In the NFL, as a potential early first-round pick, it's safe to assume the team that selects him would make a concerted effort to ensure he's not in as much of a skill-position talent disadvantage as what he endured in his final season at North Carolina.
And if Howell does have quality receivers and backs around him, we've seen what he can do, and it's borderline special. Not to elementary-stat drop here, but 68 touchdowns and 14 interceptions at over 9 yards per attempt as a freshman and sophomore is what elevated his stock to top-of-the-draft heights before his junior campaign.