Lions Land Top ACC Quarterback Within New 2022 Mock Draft

Sam Howell

Getty Sam Howell makes a face as he scores a touchdown for North Carolina in 2021.

2021 continues to look like a lost season for the Detroit Lions, and with that being the case, fans are only left to begin to ponder what the offseason might look like already.

There’s been plenty of entries for the Lions so far as it relates to early looks at the 2022 mock draft, and a new one came in from Bleacher Report and their Scouting Department as it relates to what would play out if the draft was held now.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Lions would draft Oregon defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux with the first-overall pick. Later on, however, is where the intrigue comes in. The site believes Detroit would pick up North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell with the 30th selection in the draft, which they landed from the Los Angeles Rams in the Matthew Stafford trade.

Adding Howell and Thibodeaux would be a good way for the Lions to fast-track their rebuild. At this point, there’s a question of if the team would take a quarterback early on or stick with Jared Goff given the weakness on paper of this quarterback class. As the site explained, without a quarterback early, the Lions would grab a player in Thibodeaux who compares favorably with Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. With respect to Howell, it’s written in the piece that he has solid traits to rely on, even if he needs a bit more polish.

Either way, this is simply another vote for the Lions going defense and offense back to back in this draft class.

PFF Mock Had Same Scenario Playing Out for Lions

Already, some interesting mocks have come to the forefront for the team, and perhaps the most interesting lately showed how diverse of a draft the team could have next spring to fill out plenty of their biggest needs on the field.

Recently, Pro Football Focus contributor Trevor Sikkema put together a new mock draft. Within it, he had the Lions picking up defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon with the top pick. Later on in the draft, Sikkema sent the Lions North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell with their pick later in the draft from the Los Angeles Rams.

As for why, Sikkema said he believes Thibodeaux is in the elite conversation for pass rushers and is trending to perhaps be worthy of the top pick without an elite quarterback around. As for Howell, Sikkema admitted that while the quarterback has had a bumpy ride thus far, he is still showing some of the tools that could help him be productive in the NFL.

This theme of defense and quarterback continues to persist for the Lions across multiple mock drafts early on in 2021.

Howell’s College Stats and Highlights

When thinking about him as a prospect for Detroit, Howell was an interesting potential selection for the team. He had thrown for 7,227 yards in his career and 68 touchdowns with just 14 interceptions entering this season. In 2021, Howell has thrown for 1,851 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a result, he is trending toward being one of the better pro prospects that can be picked up next year. No longer is he considered a top 10 selection, but could be lurking as a potential first-round pick.

Here’s a look at some of Howell’s highlights from 2020:

North Carolina QB Sam Howell 2020 Highlights ❄️❄️❄️ ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: Twitter: Patreon: Facebook: North Carolina QB Sam Howell Sophomore 6’1 225 lbs North Carolina QB Sam Howell is one of the top prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft. Ever since his first collegiate start, he has been…2021-05-26T00:00:00Z

A lot can happen between now and the sraft, so it’s possible this projection is way off when all is said and done and Howell can work his way up the board further out of Detroit’s reach. Still, some see quarterback as a spot to watch and Howell as the man the Lions will lock into, perhaps a bit later than many would have expected.

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