Sam Howell Joins A Rare Company of Being 1 of 2 Active Quarterback To Be In The NFL


Cole Broyhill, staff writer

On January 8th Commanders quarterback Sam Howell became the second active quarterback with korean heritage to start in the NFL. The Commanders took Howell in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL draft from North Carolina University where he became a legend in just three years with having the school record in passing yards with 10,283 yards and 92 career passing touchdowns with a career record of 20-17.

In the 2020 season Howell had the Tar Heels in prime position to go to the ACC championship game but with a late season loss to Noter Dame 31-17 the ACC championship game was long gone in the same season the Tar Heels lost to Texas A&M in the Capital One Orange bowl 41-27 but the next season looked bright.  Before the season started Howell lost 2 of his top targets Dyami Brown who was drafted in the 3rd round by the then Washington Football Team in 2021 and Dazz Newsome who was in the 6th round by the Chicago Bears in 2021 both receivers did not have good rookie seasons as people hoped. Before the first game of the 2021 season in the preseason top 25 had them ranked 10th in the nation, as Howell lost 2 great receivers the gained another one in sophomore receiver Josh Downs the season looked like another dominated year for the Tar Heels but after a week 1 upset loss to Virginia Tech 17-10 and a loss to Georgia Tech a couple weeks later it looked like their playoff hopes were over and was a disappointing season all together and finishing the season 6-7 with a loss in the Duke Mayo Bowl game to South Carolina.

After the 2021 season Howell was getting ready for the 2022 NFL draft he had a good NFL combine but there was some pros and cons going into his rookie season:


Good Velocity On Throws Outside The Numbers

Makes Accurate Throws On Short And Intermediate Throws Across The Field

Good Contact Balance To Remain Upright And Keep The Play Alive


Poor Poise In The Pocket When It Begins To Collapse

Fails To Set Feet In The Pocket When Pressured

Inconsistent Accuracy On Throws Downfield From The Pocket

And with is height that also became a factor and why he fell down the board. It took 3 days for Howell to hear his name but he didn’t have to wait long as on the final day of the draft in the 5th round dreams turned into reality where Howell got drafted by the Washington Commanders and got to be back with his best friend and favorite target Dyami Brown, Howell and Brown were ecstatic when his named was called. After getting the call from the Commanders Howell called Brown and they both cried on the phone and were ready to get to work and bring Washington back to dominance but that would have to wait. Going into training camp he was listed as QB3 behind Taylor Heinicke who started 15 games last year and starting quarterback Carson Wentz who Washington traded for in the off-season. Howell was inactive for the first 6 weeks of the 2022 season but after week 6 that would change as Carson Wentz got hurt against the Chicago Bears that would promote him to be active until Wentz got back from injury.

Some of the fans thought Howell would have started earlier in the year but it didn’t turn out that way and Howell learned and mastered sitting behind Heineke and Wentz. When Wentz came back in week 15 against the New York Giants Howell was a healthy scratch for 3 weeks until week 18 where it was originally going to be Taylor Heineke staring but after having a talk with coaches Heineke suggested Howell to start the staff listened and named Sam Howell the week 18 starter and he would have a tough task with Dallas Cowboys defense in a must win game for Dallas. The whole week he kept it from the media that he grew up a cowboys fan and told the media after the game it was a dream come true to beat his childhood team. Going into the game fans didn’t expect anything too big to happen well they were wrong Howell won his first start 26-6 with his first pass being a touchdown to Terry Mclaurin and was the first rookie quarterback to throw a passing touchdown and rushing touchdown since Robert Griffin the third in 2012. Howell finished the game with 11 for 19, 169 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown and an interception, sacked three times, ran it 5 times for 35 yards and a touchdown. You could tell Howell brought the team up and looked for energized with Howell playing like they did with Heineke

After the game the media put out that Howell was the first quarterback with korean heritage to start a NFL game. Howell who is part korean, his grandparents met while his grandfather was stationed in south korea during the 1960s after the korean war. He joins Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals Quarterback to start in the NFL.