UNC QB Sam Howell has a big chance in prime time to show 2022 NFL Draft evaluators that he’s still in the QB1 conversation.
The 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class is not the best. We know this. For the next several months, any big play these quarterbacks make will draw us back in to fight over who is “QB1” in a down class. Sam Howell is one of those guys in contention, and he could grab attention in prime time tonight against Notre Dame.
Howell was near (or at) the top of QB rankings in the summer, and he struggled mightily to start the season at Virginia Tech. Some of his decision making was certainly suspect, but the context is huge. Part of the dysfunction in that game was Howell’s first start with an entirely new cast of backs and receivers since his top four playmakers moved on to the NFL. Thinking it wouldn’t take time for him to adjust was silly at that point.
Now, Howell is playing much better and much more efficient football in the ACC. He’s had some excellent games and is slowly crawling back up draft boards. The issue is he hasn’t taken much of a step this season, as his deep ball accuracy has been a bit off and he’s still making a couple questionable decisions.
The Notre Dame game will be a big time test for Howell. The defense is missing its best player in Kyle Hamilton, but they still have a fierce pass rush and a solid secondary. Howell will need to thrive in the quick game and make smart decisions to down the Irish in South Bend.
It’s a big game in prime time, and Sam Howell can right the ship in a big way in this game. With a strong performance, Howell can shoot right back up to the top of the quarterback rankings in the 2022 NFL Draft.