North Carolina QB Sam Howell is making the short trip today for a visit with the #Panthers, per source, and also will visit the #Colts and #Falcons this week. Howell -- who broke many Tar Heels records and threw a TD in all 37 college games -- visited the #Steelers on Friday.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 11, 2022
The 6’1”, 218 pound junior quarterback completed 217 of 347 pass attempts (62.5%) for 3,056 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions during 12 starts in 2021.
He also participated in this year’s Senior Bowl.
Howell plays with great confidence—with an eye towards going vertical, and has the ability to make all the throws (and off multiple platforms) at each level of the opposing defense. He also has a little mobility, which can be useful in extending plays and running RPOs/play action at the pro ranks.
That being said, his timing and accuracy need greater consistency, especially as it relates to his ball placement to his receivers—with limits both catchability and YAC opportunities.
Here’s what they’re saying on Howell:
Finishing up 3 game study on UNC QB Sam Howell...reminds me so much of Baker Mayfield. Same build, athleticism & arm strength. Lots of energy too!— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 4, 2021
College QBs I've heard thrown around in comparison to Sam Howell... Baker Mayfield, Andy Dalton, Colt McCoy, Bryce Petty— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) June 6, 2021
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Round QBs. https://t.co/xx9GfY1urJ
The biggest adjustment for Howell on the next level will be post-snap responsibilities. Lots of quick in-breaking routes off of RPOs and deep shots in UNC’s offense.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) December 30, 2021
66-throw script for Sam Howell. Really enjoyed how diverse it was. A great mixture of under-center and shotgun throws that involved lots of pocket movement. He throws a beautiful deep ball. Displayed different variances of touch and velocity today.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) March 28, 2022
Senior Bowl Day-One QB power rankings:— Cory (@realcorykinnan) February 2, 2022
1. Sam Howell
2. Malik Willis
3a. Kenny Pickett
3b. Carson Strong
5. Desmond Ridder
6. Bailey Zappe
Lowest clean-pocket uncatchable/inaccurate throw % on 10+ yard throws in 2021, per @PFF:— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 8, 2022
1. Kenny Pickett (20%)
10. Carson Strong (28%)
19. Matt Corral (31%)
24. Bailey Zappe (32%)
53. Malik Willis (36%)
54. Desmond Ridder (37%)
63. Sam Howell (38%)
Percentage of 2022 Draft QB dropbacks that were not screens, RPOs, or play action:— Jack Brentnall (@Jack_Brentnall) April 8, 2022
- Carson Strong - 73.4%
- Kenny Pickett 68.5%
- Desmond Ridder - 61.6%
- Malik Willis 55.4%
- Sam Howell - 40.1%
- Matt Corral - 19.9%
With his dual threat mobility and competitiveness, Howell has a lot of traits that the Colts covet—as it sounds like he could be a stronger armed Sam Ehlinger to some extent, who Indianapolis seems to hold in high regard as their primary backup quarterback.
That being said, given what just transpired during Carson Wentz’s short-lived tenure with the Colts, and it appears some of those same shortfalls with Wentz as a passer could once again rear their ugly head with Howell—and bog Indianapolis’ passing game down again.
He’s a top quarterback prospect certainly worth considering for the Colts on ‘Day 2’, but he’s a little lower on my list than some of the other names that have so far been mentioned.