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Sam Howell
(Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)

Is Sam Howell The Wildcard Quarterback Of The 2022 NFL Draft?

Sam Howell
Is Sam Howell the real wildcard quarterback of the 2022 NFL Draft? It’s possible to talk yourself into drafting the former North Carolina quarterback. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)

Is Sam Howell The Wildcard Quarterback Of The 2022 NFL Draft?

Every year there is a wildcard quarterback that catches your attention. You’re not 100 percent sold, but the potential screams high end starter. Patrick Mahomes, of course, being the most extreme example. The odd part of the 2022 NFL Draft is, all of these guys feel like wildcards. ALL of them. What if it’s Sam Howell at the end of the day who ends up mattering?

For the record (this hasn’t been typed yet) Howell will end up as my QB3 behind Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral. One spot ahead of Malik Willis. Which is interesting because both Howell and Willis are really small quarterbacks. If you’re going to roll the dice with one, why not Willis because of the ridiculous rushing threat?

The more I think about it, the more I just can’t buy into Willis being a franchise quarterback. What’s the best case scenario here? I don’t think he’s Kyler Murray and he’s too inaccurate to invest in a smaller Lamar Jackson. I don’t really buy into Howell but what if I’m wrong about his rushing ability not being able to translate to the NFL level?

The rushing stuff with Howell, in my opinion, is just stupid. Did you guys realize Howell forced 65 missed tackles and rushed for 1,106 yards? You wouldn’t really know it unless you watched him closely (which I did).

We don’t have a 40 time for Howell but I can’t imagine it’s anything better than a 4.9. Just can’t buy it. It’s why he didn’t run one. Especially as a quarterback at his size at 6-feet with marginal athletic traits, how is that going to maintain itself at the NFL level?

Maybe it doesn’t have time. I’ve long comped Sam Howell to Baker Mayfield. Hey, a more lethal rushing threat of Baker could become a starting caliber guy? Maybe?

One thing Howell does really well that I do feel like will translate well is his ability to make big time throws. Watching him trying to complete a slant route makes me want to tear my face off. His footwork can be brutal to watch. Letting Howell chuck the ball deep? That’s a pretty good watch.

The former UNC quarterback completed 86 throws that are analytically considered big time throws. Nobody else in the country came close to that mark. He’s got a really pretty deep ball. Willis has more of a howitzer but Howell’s floaters over the top are sick.

There are positives with Howell in the common sense factor too. He’s a three year starter with a lot of reps under his belt. Some even in big games. The accuracy is in question but 68.5% two years ago is pretty darn good. He’s been on the radar for a long time. I remember watching him at the Elite 11 camps very well. You know this guy can throw the ball.

Would it shock me if Howell becomes the lead dog of this group? Nope. It also wouldn’t shock me if he’s just a career Case Keenum. Maybe he’s both. The point is, there are at least things you can point to when it comes to talking yourself into drafting Sam Howell. When it comes to the 2022 quarterback class, that’s about as good as it’s going to get.

Side Note: Can you really trust him if the guy only eats chicken tenders?

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