Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room examines the game of 2022 NFL Draft prospect Sam Howell and reveals where the North Carolina quarterback strengths can also influence his flaws.
Sam Howell will be an early-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft because he has the athletic ability, arm talent, and production of a top prospect. Whether he’ll deserve the affordances of young NFL starter that come with an early-round pick will depend on his 2021 performance.
Howell’s film reveals a big-armed prospect with deep accuracy and the skill to buy time and find teammates when he abandons the play script. Justin Herbert and Mitchell Trubisky share these traits in common and based on their present circumstances, there’s a healthy gap with the how the NFL perceives each despite the fact that both were first-round selections.
Howell’s strengths can be too much of a good thing with his game. He sticks to his first reads too long and misses productive second-read opportunities.
His movement is good enough to buy time, but he can get greedy and eschew sound decisions that strong game managers make. And he must recognize situations where cutting his losses outweighs the remote chance of a big play.
These are skills that he should develop in the NFL if he’s going to remain on a roster as a veteran backup. Where Howell can show that he’s more than an early-round pick who follows the path of Trubisky, Marcus Mariota, and countless others is that he learns to act on his first inclinations with reading leverage.
Right now, he has moments of hesitation that cost him big plays. If he can learn to trust himself, his future could be much brighter.
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