Sam Howell Key Stats:
Quarterback, University of North Carolina
Could Also Be: Baker Mayfield hiding behind a Baker Mayfield mask
PITT, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State,
Positives Scouts Saw:
- Throws with anticipation
- Accuracy and reading progressions
- Elite deep ball
Negatives Scouts Saw:
- Target lock
- Ball placement
- Poor accuracy on the run
Positives I Saw:
- Reading defenses
- Accurate release
- Can make all the throws asked of him
Negatives I Saw:
- His WRs were schemed open, not thrown open
- Forces into coverage at times
- The offensive line was so bad he was hard to scout at times
As A Prospect:
Howell is who I would argue is the most pro-ready QB in this class. He’s a plus athlete with an unbelievable amount of poise and ability to read defenses coming out of college. He had much more success in 2020 than his “down” year in 2021; though smart eyes can see that he lost so many important parts of his team that he spent an entire year running for his life and throwing to eventual insurance adjusters and car salesmen instead of NFL prospects. In my mind, while his ceiling might be smaller than that of Willis, he could come in and run an NFL offense on day one.
Fantasy Football Potential:
In Superflex rookie drafts, I can see him being a steal or bargain if those with early picks want to take the risk on Willis (which makes sense), Burks/Wilson/London (which makes sense), or Hall (which I’ll just keep my mouth shut about). If Howell is a first-round QB, I want him at 1.03-1.06 in Superflex. He will start year one and be a league-average quarterback and in both fantasy and real-life he will provide teams with stability and skills to build around. I doubt I’m taking him in redraft unless he lands somewhere great, but he will be a high priority, matchup-based waiver pickup after week 2, calling it now.
Sam Howell is an underrated athlete that I’d consider an above-average NFL quarterback prospect. He has a big arm, reads the field, and oozes leadership. His deep ball is extremely pretty, and he’s the type of QB that will endear himself to his city by taking huge hits by hanging in the pocket to let that route develop just a tiny bit more. There’s a lot to like about Sam Howell. He had 3 years of starter experience in college, throwing for over 3000 yards in each, with two seasons of 30+ throwing TDs, while rushing for over 800 yards and 11 TDs in 2021).
For a QB, he was a broken tackle machine in college, but his frame might make that a tad more difficult in the NFL. Even so, he will go in there, get those extra yards with his feet, and use his high football IQ to make sure routes and scrambles go past the marker. This dude is all intangibles and guts, and I think he’s the second-best QB in this class.
Sam Howell Reminds Me Of:
Baker Mayfield (possibly a Bigfoot denier though)