Former North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell just took part in the program’s pro day as a way to show NFL scouts that he has what it takes to be a franchise guy leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft.

By all accounts, Howell looked petty good tossing scripted passes as he prepares for the annual event in Las Vegas in late April.

For the most part, Howell has been seen as a first-round prospect for well over the past calendar year. As one of the headliners in a weak draft class at quarterback, that might still be the case. However, there’s still some major questions here.

Who is North Carolina’s Sam Howell?

  • A native of North Carolina, Howell played at Indiana Trail High School in his home state — throwing for 13,415 yards with 145 touchdowns while adding 60 scores on the ground.
  • Howell initially committed to playing ball at Florida State before flipping his commitment to the Tar Heels on early signing day back in 2019.
  • Howell found himself as a four-star recruit and the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2019, per 247 Sports. It’s the same class that included bigger-name quarterbacks such as Spencer Rattler, Bo Nix and Jayden Daniels.

Sam Howell college stats and status as an NFL Draft prospect

Howell ended up becoming a full-time starter for the Tar Heels throughout his three-year career in Chapel Hill. He put up some absolutely mind-boggling numbers during that span.

Sam Howell college stats (2019-21): 64% completion, 10,283 passing yards, 1,009 rushing yards, 111 total TD, 23 INT

As you can see, Howell is the most-accomplished quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class.

In no way does this mean there’s no fault in his game. He’s a little undersized at a bit under 6-foot-1 and struggled with decision-making at times last season. This led to Howell throwing a career-high nine interceptions in 347 pass attempts.

Some will question whether Howell’s profile equates to being a true franchise guy at the next level. But he boast above-average football IQ and the best accuracy in the draft class. Those two things can’t be taught.

 

Ideal landing spots for Sam Howell in the 2022 NFL Draft

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

At this point, it would not be a surprise if the likes of Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder were all taken over Howell. If so, the Bucs could find their heir-apparent to Tom Brady with the 27th pick in the first round.

Tampa Bay did select fellow quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. There’s no evidence one way or another that Trask is the long-term solution. At the very least, Sam Howell is seen as a much better prospect than Trask was this time last year.