Daniel Jeremiah is ‘bullish’ on Sam Howell

Two years ago, when analysts looked ahead to the 2022 NFL draft, many projected North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell as a first-round pick. Some considered Howell a top-10 pick, and others even believed he could be the No. 1 overall selection.

Unfortunately for Howell, he lost a ton of talent at UNC, as running backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter and wide receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome all departed for the NFL after the 2021 season.

In Howell’s first game in 2021 vs. Virginia Tech, he struggled. At that point, many wrote Howell off. Throughout the rest of the season, behind a struggling offensive line and with young playmakers, Howell improved. Howell wasn’t necessarily playing for his NFL future but to give the Tar Heels the best chance to win. He ran the ball more and often took more chances. It led to some mixed results on film.

Howell slid in the draft, which was not a surprise, but no one expected him to last until the first pick of the fifth round, including NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

Jeremiah conducted his annual conference call ahead of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine last week and answered questions from reporters concerning all 32 NFL teams. Jeremiah received a question about Howell and here is his response:

Now, I’m curious, because I’m going back to look it up because I know — so Howell ended up — that was a shocker to me how late he went in the draft, so I’m looking up to see where I had him. He was my 48th player in last year’s draft, so I thought it was — I thought it was a bargain of all bargains that they got him where they did.

When I go back through my notes with him last year, thick, sturdy. He has quick feet. He can drive the ball. He is a physical runner. Love the toughness. Just locks on at times.

I thought he was a starting-caliber quarterback, so I’m not surprised that here we are a year later and he is going to be their starter. I didn’t envision that it would have been available to them as late in the draft as it was.

But I’m bullish on him. I think he has a chance to be a good player. I think we’ll see. I think the league missed on that one allowing him to fall as far as they did.

That’s a glowing review from arguably the most respected NFL draft analyst today. Remember, Jeremiah isn’t just a talking ahead; he’s worked in multiple NFL front offices.

While Jeremiah doesn’t guarantee success for Howell, he does believe he has the tools to succeed and is not surprised he is expected to start in 2023. With new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and talent at running back and wide receiver, Howell will have the opportunity to succeed next season.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire