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Sam Howell


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Everyone here should know by now that I'm a big Heels and Howell fan. I was planning to do a breakdown of him as an NFL prospect, but this guy basically did it for me.

I can't find a whole lot to disagree with here so I'll just link this:

https://steelersdepot.com/2022/01/2022-nfl-draft-player-profiles-north-carolina-qb-sam-howell/

I'll add...

Biggest strength:

- Physically, it's throwing the deep ball. He throws an accurate very catchable deep ball. Don't get triggered by these names, but in terms of the style of deep ball he throws think Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. He has an ability to throw a ball that somehow both has a lot of air under it yet doesn't get "floaty" giving safeties a chance to make a great break on it.

- Mentally, it's his competitive fire and ability to stay even keel. The guy is willing to do whatever it takes to give his team a chance and he doesn't get rattled or frustrated when the game isn't going well or the OL is getting blown up or receivers are dropping balls.

Biggest weakness:

- Physically, it's his height. He's probably six feet even on a good day. The pounding he took this season has to give you a little pause too. He took a prime Cam Newton type of pounding this year playing behind a porous OL while oftentimes being relied upon as the primary ball carrier on the ground.

- Mentally, it's his risk/reward analysis. It has to evolve at the NFL level. As a pure passer, I actually think he's there. He usually does a great job of managing risk while still taking manageable chances. It has more to do with him as a runner and a scrambler. He's built like Stephen Davis and runs like him too. You don't want your QB taking that type of pounding. 3rd down in the second half of a tight game? Do your thing young man. 1st quarter? Get down and protect yourself. Similar story as a scrambler. He has the mentality that no play is ever dead and he always has a chance to make a play. That leads to some highlight reels but it also leads to some bad sacks. He has to develop a better feel for when to push the envelope and when to toss it into the stands.

NFL comparison:

Everyone wants to say Baker Mayfield and I get it. Physically they're very similar. I think Howell is a bit better of an athlete and I think Mayfield has a bit better natural arm talent (keep in mind, Mayfield has the longest pass thrown in terms of yards in air in NFL history to his credit). The breakdown I linked mentioned Wilson as a comp and I can get that too. Mentally, I think he's a much better comp vs. Mayfield. So if you let me combine them, I say Mayfield physically and Wilson mentally. I have another name in mind specifically, but I don't want this thread to go off the rails from the get go. There's gonna have to be a trigger warning involved. 😂

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I can’t stand the Heels and I’ve messed you about Howell but I really think he’s good. Only thing that bothers me that I would love to see a stat on or if u know if you’ve watch him a lot, is balls batted down at LOS. Man I was watching Mayfield that game against Browns and wow so many batted down and height worries me for some reason. Also fumbles, because Mayfield really struggled with that. Other than that like I said I don’t dislike him that much except for playing for Heels lol. If he was the pick if we move back some, I would not be upset. Thanks for the write up!

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3 minutes ago, BurnNChinn said:

I can’t stand the Heels and I’ve messed you about Howell but I really think he’s good. Only thing that bothers me that I would love to see a stat on or if u know if you’ve watch him a lot, is balls batted down at LOS. Man I was watching Mayfield that game against Browns and wow so many batted down and height worries me for some reason. Also fumbles, because Mayfield really struggled with that. Other than that like I said I don’t dislike him that much except for playing for Heels lol. If he was the pick if we move back some, I would not be upset. Thanks for the write up!

Honestly, I don't know. I can tell you as someone who watched every game he played that he didn't have many batted down. Will that translate at the NFL level? I don't know. Keep in mind though that Cam was 6'5" and Cam had way more balls tipped at the LOS than you would think for a guy at that height. I think a lot of it was because of the style of ball he threw. Dude threw lasers. They got there fast but they also came across the LOS low.

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Howell has the calm composure and cool you like to see in a QB.  Most of the candidates have skills, but what happens to them when the game is on the line?  Howell has the skills and composure he needs to be a success.  Can we provide the situation in which he can succeed?   To me, Howell's skills are easier to assess than if he played at Alabama or Georgia.   We got to see him in the face of some pretty significant adversity and his stock dropped--which, to me, might make him a bargain.  I would not be opposed to trading back and adding a second or third rounder and taking Howell, if they think they can bring him along. 

And I don't give a crap about what team a player played for in college and it is really silly to base any assessment on some team loyalty bias.  I hate NC State--their fans, students, sports teams, etc.  But I want Ike if we don't trade out.

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3 minutes ago, WOW!! said:

By all Criteria other then size.. He's the best QB prospect in this draft..

And I hate UnC with a passion..

I really try to keep my college allegiance out of my prospect opinions. I said last year I wouldn't draft Dyami Brown in the first two rounds because of my concerns about his hands. He was never a natural catcher of the football. Dude could fly and he could get open, but the catch was a dicey proposition. Not as dicey as Ginn but he honestly reminded me a lot of Ginn.

As a UNC fan, sure I hate state. But I'd have no problem drafting Ikem Ekwonu and honestly might be pounding the table for him if we had a QB. Even if he doesn't work out at OT, with his physicality and run blocking abilities I think his floor is a very good OG and lord knows we need those too so I'd view him as about as safe of a pick as we could make for our roster with the caveat of calling any pick "safe" is laughable in the crap shoot that is the NFL draft. 

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Not a Heels fan, but I’ve watched Howell play a good bit. If he doesn’t learn to slide in the NFL, he won’t make it a year. 
 

I think he’s good, not great. I wouldn’t draft him at 6, but I’d wouldn’t hate it if we traded back and picked him. 

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Just now, Sir Big Spurr said:

Not a Heels fan, but I’ve watched Howell play a good bit. If he doesn’t learn to slide in the NFL, he won’t make it a year. 
 

I think he’s good, not great. I wouldn’t draft him at 6, but I’d wouldn’t hate it if we traded back and picked him. 

That was my first thought. He's gonna have a "Welcome to the NFL" moment real quick if he thinks we can run until he gets dragged down.

Also agree with everything you just said, because I said it almost verbatim in the next post, lol!

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Here is only thing I can almost guarantee will happen at 6.

We won’t trade back.

As much as the Panthers say they will be looking to upgrade the OL this offseason don’t be surprised if we draft Pickett or a QB and sign some more OL in FA. 

Not a fan of this but this team has made a lot of questionable decisions. I would rather them wait till 2023 and roll with either a veteran, or as much as it pains me, Darnold.
 

 

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5 minutes ago, TLGPanthersFan said:

Here is only thing I can almost guarantee will happen at 6.

We won’t trade back.

As much as the Panthers say they will be looking to upgrade the OL this offseason don’t be surprised if we draft Pickett or a QB and sign some more OL in FA. 

Not a fan of this but this team has made a lot of questionable decisions. I would rather them wait till 2023 and roll with either a veteran, or as much as it pains me, Darnold.
 

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see us trade down. Not having 2nd and 3rd round picks hurts and I don't think we'll hesitate to trade down if the right opportunity presents itself.

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I like Howell a lot and he does have a great arm, throws a beautiful deep ball, and he definitely showed a lot of poise behind that line at Carolina this year.

I have him as the #3 QB in this year's draft behind Pickett and Willis.  (Willis will either be a huge pick up for a team or a career back up, but his upside is pretty substantial)

He reminds me of Justin Fields TBH with you.  Big arm, can scramble, but will he make the best decisions for you?  He's a bit shorter than Fields too.

If the Panthers  just absolutely believe there isn't an offensive lineman available to pick at #6 and somehow trade down and recoup some of the picks we lost, I would be OK drafting him later.  I don't believe it's going to happen but....you never know!

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