2022 NFL Draft: Sam Howell Doesn’t Move Needle In Mayo Bowl

2022 NFL Mock Draft: 2022 NFL Draft prospect Sam Howell. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2022 NFL Mock Draft: 2022 NFL Draft prospect Sam Howell. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

UNC quarterback Sam Howell didn’t move the needle much in terms of his 2022 NFL Draft stock at the Mayo Bowl.

It was a battle of the Carolinas at the Mayo Bowl Thursday, as South Carolina battled North Carolina for a chance to give their coach a mayo bath in a victory. The big headliner of the game was North Carolina QB Sam Howell, who was likely playing in his final game as a Tar Heel before moving on to the 2022 NFL Draft.

A few teams were reportedly in attendance, most notably the Steelers and Panthers, both of which could be in the market for a quarterback when the draft rolls around.

So how did Howell do? Truthfully, it looked like more of the same from the 2021 season and seasons before. Howell completed 12 of 20 passing for 205 yards and a touchdown, faced consistent pressure all day long, and didn’t find much success as a runner.

Obviously, 2021 was a different story from 2020, with Howell losing his top two running backs and receivers to the NFL. It took some time to build chemistry within the offense, which is why his opening game against Virginia Tech shouldn’t be heavily involved in his evaluation. But again, it’s likely most opinions of Howell haven’t changed much from the summer to now.

Howell has always put good velocity on the football in the short and intermediate areas of the field, and once again displayed his impressive deep ball accuracy and touch. However, he struggled to make plays out of structure when he needed to, and the decision making process needs to be sped up.

Overall, it’s not a performance that will move the needle for those looking to the 2022 NFL Draft. Sam Howell is what he is at this point, a talented player who needs strong coaching and improvement in important areas. He could still end up a first round selection, but the development process will be a necessary one.