Mel Kiper Jr cites inconsistent play for Sam Howell slipping in NFL Draft

North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell was expected to be a second-day selection in the 2022 NFL draft, but slipped to the fifth round and a final day pick.

Taken with the first pick in the fifth round to the Washington Commanders, Howell’s slip was a talking point during and after the draft concluded.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr joined in on the discussion during the ESPN broadcast.

“He’s a got a chance to be a starter you would think, Remember, going into the year, we were talking-Todd McShay and I-about him being a first-round draft choice coming off a great year when he had Javonte Williams, Michael Carter and Jazz Newsome… they all left, but he had Josh Downs and Ty Chandler running the football. Things just didn’t happen the way they did. All the numbers came down across the board, but he held the ball too long and had too many passes batted down. He played a little short. We know he’s 6-foot and a half, but he played at 6-foot and a half.

“He’s got to find those throwing lanes moving forward in the NFL. He’s got to show a little more fire on the field. He’s got a shot. He was maybe he was a little over-hyped and the Baker Mayfield comparisons were maybe a little exaggerated going into the year. I’m surprised he went to the fifth round, I thought he’d be a third-rounder. There’s some things he’s got to fix to ever being a starter in the NFL. ”

Howell had 3,056 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2021. He also rushed for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.

The former UNC quarterback had been anywhere from a late first-round draft pick to the third round in most NFL mock drafts.

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