Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Sam Howell put on a show in his NFL preseason debut on Saturday.
The fifth-round pick from North Carolina recorded solid numbers in a 21-23 loss to the Panthers, throwing for 143 yards and rushing for two touchdowns.
Howell’s day included a bright play in which he hit a nasty jook on the way to a 17-yard touchdown.
Howell finished his day with 143 yards passing on September 16 and 19 yards and two touchdowns on three rushing attempts.
Howell is considered one of the top picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Once considered a first-round talent, record-breaking quarterback Tar Heel dropped to the 144th overall pick of the Commanders in the fifth round.
For those who are familiar with Howell’s game, this ingenuity in a hurry should not be surprising. Throughout his career at Chapel Hill, the young signalman made a living by prolonging practical jokes and making foot movements.
Howell is currently listed as the third quarterback after Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke. But if he continues to appear like this in the preseason, he could rise up in that hierarchy even before his rookie campaign begins.