Steelers potential quarterback draft choices in the 2022 NFL Draft
Sam Howell, North Carolina
Arguably one of the top two quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class. After that, the list of quarterbacks becomes very subjective. If the Steelers make the playoffs in 2021, it’s unlikely they will be in the running to draft Howell unless something causes other teams to pass in the early draft picks. That said, he has positives and negatives. At 6’1” and 225lbs, he is much smaller than Ben Roethlisberger, so he is undersized comparatively. Yet some compare him to Baker Mayfield.
Howell isn’t the most mobile quarterback on the list, so he’s not a huge threat to run the ball; that said, he has been known to evade pocket pressure and has a knack for using his legs to extend plays. Also, he can throw on the run and keep eyes on receivers while evading the defensive rush.
Howells detractions are his tendency not to read the entire field at times locking onto one side or the other. His lack of consistency and overthrowing, underthrowing, or throwing wide of his intended target. Plus, he sometimes tries too hard to thread passes into a tight window.
To a certain degree, Howell has many similar characteristics of a young Ben Roethlisberger except perhaps his size. It would be fascinating to see how he would perform for the Steelers. Better yet, draft him in 2022 and coax Big Ben to play one additional season to give the rookie time to be Ben’s understudy for a season before letting him take the helm.
If the Steelers have a bad 2021 season, perhaps they draft high enough to snag Howell. If not, it seems unlikely they will have the opportunity barring a blockbuster draft-day trade.