NFL Draft: Sam Howell negates need to tank for Trevor Lawrence

2022 NFL Draft prospect Sam Howell. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
2022 NFL Draft prospect Sam Howell. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
Sam Howell, NFL Draft
ANNAPOLIS, MD – DECEMBER 27: Sam Howell #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels rushes the ball against the Temple Owls in the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on December 27, 2019 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Does Sam Howell negate the need to tank for Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has long been thought to be the next ‘generational’ talent at the quarterback position and quite possibly the first no-brainer number one pick prospect since Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL Draft.

As good as Lawrence is, he already has at least one peer in the 2021 NFL Draft class in Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields who could contend for the number one overall pick next Spring.

Could Lawrence have some competition now in his own conference for the title of top quarterback in college football in the 2020 season?

North Carolina’s record-setting freshman Sam Howell is on the map in a big way.

Howell sets FBS record as freshman at UNC

How about Mack Brown’s return to coaching in 2019?

The Tar Heels called Brown out of the ESPN bullpen and he delivered in a big way in the 2019 season, landing one of the top in-state recruits in the state of North Carolina in Howell, a pro-style quarterback with a four-star rating from 247 Sports.

Howell completed over 61 percent of his passes as a true freshman for 3,641 yards with 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

He also added a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown.

Although he’s built more like Baker Mayfield than Peyton Manning, Howell has the type of moxie and poise to compete with the likes of Clemson in 2020.

As a matter of fact, Howell and the Tar Heels had Clemson in a tight spot last season, scoring late on a potential game-tying or game-winning drive with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Mack Brown decided to have his team — playing at home with a 2-2 record — go for two to try and win in regulation. The final play of the game was an option run for Howell and Clemson defended it perfectly.

North Carolina’s upset bid came up short, but that game could be a good launching off point for a fun matchup in the ACC this season between a pair of young quarterback prospects with bright NFL futures.

Next. 2021 NFL mock draft update. dark

Lawrence has been the presumptive top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but NFL teams may not have to sacrifice this season just to get him. Howell awaits for 2022.