North Carolina's Sam Howell has been a starter since Day 1 of his Tar Heel career, earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 2019 and following that up with an even more impressive campaign in 2020. His 68 touchdown passes are a conference record for a QB through his sophomore season.
- Good zip and ball placement on the quick slant. Good touch down the seam and on post-corner, flag routes to attack the defense vertically and horizontally.
- Very confident passer and shows good accuracy and feel when in rhythm. Showed better ball placement from past years and throws very catchable passes.
- Sticks throws into tight windows over the middle, throwing to spot on slant or between zone defenders before the receiver is open.
- Good accuracy overall, including excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers, placing the ball slightly in front to lead receivers to potential yardage after the catch.
- Athletic quarterback who is a threat to leave the pocket and gain positive yardage at any time. Possesses very good vision balance, elusiveness and deceptive speed and power as a runner.
- Footwork - Howell has some of the best footwork I've seen from a college QB. His ability to create a base for himself is amazing. I have barely seen any heel clicks or crossing feet in his drop back. Also he escapes the pocket very well and can create space for himself
- Howell makes easy throws look easy underneath and has a pretty deep ball with lots of air underneath it.
- Has struggled with his decision-making and needs to improve his pre-snap recognition skills to read defenses and see blitzes. Doesn't decipher information as quickly as you would like, but does see the entire field and understands coverage.
- Needs to improve his touch at all levels and know when to gun it and when to take something off his throws. Accuracy is solid, but far from great with streaky ball placement downfield as he tries to thread the needle too much.
- Sails throws to either sideline; receivers make him look good with acrobatic catches. Back-foot throws are not accurate. Sometimes trusts his arm too much, trying to stick passes late in the play or when off-balance.
- Marginal height, which will prove more of a detriment in an offense that asks him to drop back from center more often.
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