How Sam Howell's past can define his future as Commanders franchise QB

Taking an in-depth look at Commanders QB Sam Howell's past to predict his future.

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Why did Sam Howell fall so far in the 2022 NFL Draft?

After losing his two top wide receivers and running backs to the NFL - while attempting to thrive with an offensive line that was replacing three starters from the previous two seasons - Sam Howell quite literally had to put the offense on his back.

Naturally, Howell's production - in comparison to his first two seasons in Chapel Hill - took a step back. All of his weapons were gone, including Dyami Brown, who was taken by the Washington Commanders.

Still, he was far from awful. Howell completed 217 of his 347 passing attempts for 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Not a bad season at all, but a step back from his first two years.

The bright side? Whether by design to disguise offensive deficiencies, or Howell improvising when plays broke down, he showcased his dual-threat ability in a major way, rushing for 828 yards while adding 11 touchdowns on the ground.

I'm far from a qualified NFL talent evaluator. But it's truly tough to understand exactly why Howell fell as far as he did before the Commanders scooped him up at No. 144 overall.

Howell closed out his time at North Carolina ranked third in ACC history with 92 career passing touchdowns - the most ever by a player in three or fewer seasons. He ranks fifth in touchdowns responsible for (111), eighth in total offense (11,292), fifth in passing yards (10,283), second in passing yards per game (277.9), and second in passing efficiency (164.2)

Additionally, he owns nearly every important quarterback record at h Tar Heels for good measure..