Sam Howell 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Sam Howell Scouting Report
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Background

Sam Howell is a quarterback for the North Carolina Tar Heels and a prospect in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, so let’s dive into his scouting report. Howell started every year in high school, finishing his career going 805-of-1,361 for 13,415 yards and 145 touchdowns while rushing for 3,621 yards and 60 scores. He set the North Carolina state record for total yards with 17,036. As a senior, he earned North Carolina Offensive Player of the Year by USA Today and the Associated Press. 

Howell was a consensus four-star prospect, ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina, the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country, and the No. 87 overall player nationally by the 247Sports Composite. He earned offers from P5 schools all over the country, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Oregon. He initially committed to Florida State but flipped to UNC to stay home and help resurrect the program after Mack Brown returned.

Howell started all 13 games at quarterback as a freshman in 2019, earning ACC Offensive & Overall Rookie of the Year and Third-Team All-ACC honors. He came back in 2020 and elevated his play, starting all 12 games again and earning 2nd-Team All-ACC. Howell returned in 2021 expected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, if not the country. However, he lost several vital playmakers to the NFL, and the offensive line regressed.

He missed one game due to a shoulder injury late in the season but still earned All-ACC Honorable Mention. Howell could have returned for his senior season, but he declared for the draft early and even earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl as an early graduate.

Stats

Career Stats: 37 GP/GS, 1117 attempts, 713 completions (63.8%), 10283 yards, 92 TDs, 23 INTs, 111.7 NFL passer rating; 149 rushing attempts, 1696 yards (6.4 avg), 17 TDs, 24 fumbles. 

2021 Stats: 12 GP/GS, 347 attempts, 217 completions (62.5%), 3056 yards, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 101.7 NFL passer rating; 76 rushes, 1106 yards (8.1 avg), 11 TDs, 10 fumbles. 

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 90.9 Offense (12th), 80.3 Passing (t-37th), 91.0 Rushing (2nd), 50.7 Fumbling (106th).

Sam Howell Scouting Report

Strengths
  • Very good poise and pocket management/awareness, dealing with pressure very well by using very good athletic ability to avoid rushers and move/reset in the pocket. 
  • Good decision-making on RPOs to get the ball to the right player; solid at finding open receivers on longer-developing throws with good ability to work through progressions and reads.
  • Excellent accuracy to all levels of the field with great timing and YAC maximization on short/intermediate throws; deep ball accuracy was fantastic in 2020, with great touch helping hit receivers perfectly in stride. 
  • Very good touch on intermediate and deep throws, layering throws above defenders and putting appropriate amount of air under deep balls. 
  • Good arm strength allows him to get the ball to all areas of the field with ease; he can fire the ball into tight windows in short/intermediate areas and push the ball vertically 50+ yards. He has the ability to make all NFL throws. 
  • Very good play extension ability: great running ability allows him to escape pocket and distance himself from defenders quickly; has play strength necessary to break tackles in the pocket and stay alive; arm strength and accuracy are not significantly affected while on the move, and he does a nice job of keeping eyes downfield.
  • Dangerous running threat in his own right, with very good athletic ability, play strength, and competitive toughness, allowing him to run through and around multiple defenders in the open field. 
  • Outstanding competitive toughness, frequently breaking out of tackles in the pocket to keep the play alive while keeping eyes downfield; willing to sacrifice body as an open-field runner. 
Weaknesses
  • Not asked to do much in terms of pre-snap adjustments/diagnosis beyond RPOs. 
  • Overhand delivery is a touch delayed, could be improved.
  • Could stand to speed up his progressions and decision-making on more complex intermediate concepts. 
  • Would like to see him be more aggressive with making intermediate throws. 
  • Deep accuracy suffered some inconsistencies in 2021
  • Occasionally panics and scrambles backward, trying to do too much.
  • Lacks the arm strength to consistently make deep, cross-field, off-platform throws.
  • Ball security is concerning

Summary

Sam Howell possesses all the necessary traits to be a starting quarterback immediately in the NFL. He has great accuracy, very good poise in the pocket, and the ability to extend plays with his feet. Howell needs to clean up some of the mental aspects of his game, such as decision-making in the pocket and quickly working through his progressions.

While he does not have elite arm strength, he has the ability to make every NFL throw with excellent placement and touch. He is also exceptionally tough in the pocket and as an open-field runner, consistently sloughing off defenders to stay alive and get extra yards. 

In the NFL, Howell would fit best in a Kansas City-style scheme with frequent RPOs and deeper passing concepts that might require him to get outside the pocket. He is very accurate on short quick throws and consistently makes good decisions. Aside from some ball security issues, he rarely makes mistakes and puts the ball in danger.

For those reasons, the scouting report shows Sam Howell should be ready to play immediately. He might have some growing pains early in his career, but by the end of his rookie year, he should be an above-average starter that will develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

Grade: 8 / 10

Comparison: Baker Mayfield (2018 R1 #1, Cleveland Browns)

Embed from Getty Images

Malik Willis 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Embed from Getty Images

Background

Malik Willis (#7, 6’1″, 225) is a quarterback from Liberty University and a prospect in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Willis is originally from Atlanta, GA, and led his high school to the state title game, earning Offensive Player of the Year and 1st-team all-state as a senior. He earned a three-star distinction as a recruit with offers from mostly Group of Five and FCS programs, and a few ACC programs sprinkled in.

He initially committed to Virginia Tech, but he flipped to Auburn when they offered him a scholarship. Willis played in 15 games during his first two years with the Tigers in 2017 and 2018. He was primarily used as a gadget player and in mop-up duty. In 2018, he lost the quarterback competition to Bo Nix and transferred after the season. 

After transferring to Liberty, Willis redshirted in 2019 as he sat out due to transfer rules. In 2020, he started all but one game, leading Liberty to a 10-1 record, with their only loss coming on the road at NC State 15-14.

He led all FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards (944) and rushing TDs (14). In 2021, the team regressed and finished 8-5, but they capped off their season with a dominating performance in their bowl game. As a redshirt senior, Willis had the opportunity to play for another season due to the COVID year. Instead, he elected to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl. 

Statistics

Career Stats: 38 GP, 23 GS, 618 attempts, 388 completions (62.8%, 71.7 Adjusted), 5176 passing yards, 48 TDs, 18 INTs, 103.4 NFL passer rating; 366 rushing attempts, 2131 rushing yards (5.8 YPC), 29 rushing TDs, 20 fumbles. 

2021 Stats: 13 GP, 13 GS, 339 attempts, 208 completions (61.4%, 70.1 Adjusted), 2858 yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs, 100.1 NFL passer rating; 197 rushing attempts, 878 yards (4.5 YPC), 13 TDs, 3 fumbles. 

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 91.8 Offense (t-4th), 78.4 Passing (49th), 94.5 Rushing (1st).

Malik Willis Scouting Report

Strengths
  • Compact, thick build with defined muscle on entire body. Can withstand hits in the pocket and when running the ball. 
  • Elite arm strength and talent, both velocity and distance. Can push the ball 50+ yards with ease and fit throws into tight windows. 
  • Solid accuracy, especially when in rhythm with clean pocket and sound mechanics. Arm strength allows him to make special throws that can hit receivers perfectly. 
  • Good pocket awareness and management, using athletic ability to buy time in the pocket and scramble out when necessary. 
  • When he’s hot, has special play-making ability; can make unique, off-platform throws out of structure. 
  • Good athletic ability allows him to be a weapon in the running game. Frequently makes defenders miss in the pocket and in the open field. Has speed and explosiveness to create big gains as a runner. 
  • Good competitive toughness, using physicality and strength to grind out extra yards in the run game; plays through injuries and comes back after tough hits. 
Weaknesses
  • Below average processing/field vision. Frequently waits for targets to come open before throwing the ball, allowing DBs to recover and make plays on the ball. Needs to improve speed progressing through reads and trigger to throw the ball. 
  • Inconsistent decision-making, frequently scrambling backward to buy time and taking big losses on sacks. Ignores check-downs sometimes and tries to fit in risky throws or scramble. Cut down on TWPs in 2021 but still struggles with interceptions. 
  • Accuracy lacks consistency: frequently misses high on quick slants; intermediate throws lack proper timing, limiting YAC and risking receiver’s health. 
  • Subpar level of competition and yet still plays a little slow (mentally); relies on his athleticism too much, which could get him into trouble at next level. Does not have elite athletic/running ability; NFL defenders will not flounder like G5 defenders. 
  • Very inconsistent as a passer: games are extremely feast or famine, turnovers seemingly compounding themselves. 

Summary

Malik Willis possesses remarkable and unique physical talents. He can be a dynamic playmaker, using his elite arm talent and excellent running ability. However, Willis struggles to make accurate throws consistently. He also struggles to read the field, anticipate receivers coming open, and make timely throws.

Furthermore, his play was relatively inconsistent against a lower level of competition; for the most part, when he played superior opponents, he struggled. In short, Willis is not ready to be an NFL starter in his rookie season. But given his physical gifts, in the right situation and with a year of development, he could become a high-level, perennial-Pro Bowl starting quarterback. 

Grade: 7.5 / 10

Comparison: Jalen Hurts (2020 R2 #58, Philadelphia Eagles)

2022 NFL Draft: The Quarterback-chelor – Episode 3

Welcome to The QuarterBachelor! I am your host, Mitchell Wolfe, and we’re excited to bring you this new show, where the 2022 NFL Draft is looking for their QB1. Every episode, we’ll break down the 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks and how they are progressing in their relationship with the Draft to be the top-ranked quarterback.

Last year, our lead, the 2021 NFL Draft had many exciting suitors. But in the end, the favorite from the beginning, Trevor Lawrence, established an incredible connection and went home as the top-ranked QB and the #1 overall pick. This year, our Draft has a litany of handsome and exciting prospects looking for love and the honor of winning QB1. In the last episode, two contestants went home, one because of injury and another for poor performance. After a brief hiatus, the show is back, and we’re sending three contestants home this week. Let’s get into it!

Sam Howell, North Carolina

An early favorite to win the Quarterback-chelor, Sam Howell took over the top spot this episode. However, this was more so due to poor performance by some of his competitors. While Sam has had some nice appearances in recent weeks, he’s also been relatively inconsistent. He’s not showing the same poise and accuracy that we expected from him. Sam has a long season ahead of him, and he moves into the driver’s seat this week. But his reign as king of the hill is tenuous at best. 

Carson Strong, Nevada

A sleeper pick before the season began, Carson Strong has quickly ascended through the ranks. He took advantage of lackluster performances by other contestants and has been one of very few consistent performers this season. Carson is more of a traditional candidate, relative to some of the more successful past seasons. But this is an unorthodox group of quarterbacks, so maybe the most orthodox will actually have the best shot at winning. 

Matt Corral, Mississippi

Speaking of unorthodox contestants, these next two are among the most complex ones in recent memory. This week, Matt had a big test, and while he did not wow or excite the viewers, he was put in a very tough position. But he kept his poise and did not make any huge mistakes, which has been a problem for him in the past. Therefore, seeing this growth in him and being reliable and stable when the going gets tough is a pretty big win for him. 

Malik Willis, Liberty

Malik is among the most exciting contestants that this show has ever seen. He has a unique personality and style that is very exciting for our Draft. But his decision-making is questionable at times, and not everything in life (or football) is about spontaneity. Malik has had some up and down performances in the past week. But his two-on-one date with Matt is rapidly approaching and should be an excellent showcase for both contestants. 

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer; whatever will we do with you? Spencer entered the season as the favorite to win the competition. But he has been the most disappointing candidate from this pool by far. He’s had some nice moments, but they’ve come very sparingly. Spencer might have to come back next season if he wants a shot at winning. He could still turn it around with a big performance this week. But right now, it looks more like he’ll be going home early this season. 

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

From one of our biggest fallers to one of the biggest risers, Kenny Pickett almost looks like some of the late risers that finished very high in recent years. Kenny is one of the older contestants this season, and his growth and maturity make him a very attractive candidate. He hasn’t really been tested or challenged yet this season. As we move into the heart of the season, we’ll have to see how Kenny performs when the going gets tough. 

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Another one of our older contestants, Desmond, had arguably the most significant performance of the season this week. In a challenge that took him out of his comfort zone, he performed very well and even assuaged some concerns about his ability to deliver in big moments. With that being said, Desmond remains one of the most divisive candidates on the show this season. Some think Desmond should be a front runner to win; others believe he shouldn’t have even been on the show in the first place. If he wants to win, Desmond will need to keep playing like he did this past week. 

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Grayson still might be too young and inexperienced to win this season. But viewers cannot deny he’s very exciting and consistent. He hasn’t been truly tested this season and most likely won’t face any significant challenges. Therefore, without encountering adversity, Grayson might not have the opportunity to elevate his game to a high enough level. He’s safe for this week, but his time could be running out. 

JT Daniels, Georgia

Frankly, it’s still pretty surprising JT is even on the show. He’s barely gotten any air time this season; he’s reportedly been dealing with some health issues. That’s unfortunate for him, but JT will probably have to go home if he keeps missing episodes. Even if he comes back, he might be too far behind the other contestants to have a realistic shot at winning. Along with our next contestant, he will probably have to come back next season if they want to win. 

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

Dorian has been another up-and-down participant. DTR’s performance has been improving recently. But he’s “fumbled” some opportunities of late, which could be an issue at the next level. At this point, he’s going to need to step up his performance in a significant way if he wants to have a shot at winning. But he has plenty of season left, so he gets to stay on for at least another week. 

Kedon Slovis, Southern California

Our other Cali contestant, Kedon, has been another inconsistent performer throughout the season. He was a very attractive candidate to some before the season. But he has fallen very far in the rankings due to poor play. At this point, Kedon looks like he could be going home very soon; however, he will most likely be back next season due to his early exit. 

Michael Penix Jr., Indiana

Michael has had a very tough season. He hasn’t performed well in limited opportunities and also had some lingering health problems. Michael needed to have a much more consistent, complete season. But it looks like that’s not in the cards for him. After a poor showing in the two-on-one with Desmond, he probably won’t be sticking around very long.

D’Eriq King, Miami

D’Eriq King already had a tough row to hoe, given his lack of height. He also entered the season with some health concerns, which reared their ugly head. He’s missed time on the show due to those health issues. He might be able to come back and perform, but it’s difficult to see a winning path for him, given where he stands. 

Who Doesn’t Get the Rose?

Our Draft is sending three contestants home this week. After a brief hiatus, they had to start narrowing the field. Two contestants will head home due to health concerns: D’Eriq King and Michael Penix Jr. In addition to their injury problems, neither quarterback played consistently well in their limited time. Given that they might miss time in the coming weeks, they will not make up enough ground to win. Michael could return next season, but this was the last shot for D’Eriq.
Our other contestant heading home is Kedon Slovis. Kedon is another participant who could come back next year. But this year, he couldn’t answer many of the questions our draft had about him. He might need a change of scenery that highlights his best assets. Regardless, Kedon is heading home as we cull down the group. 

Embed from Getty Images

Steelers Raiders Recap: Back to the Drawing Board

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Las Vegas Raiders 26-17 this Sunday. After a remarkable performance from their defense, the Steelers upset the Buffalo Bills last week; the Raiders also won their opener in dramatic fashion against Pittsburgh’s rival, the Baltimore Ravens. Even though the Steelers’ offense played very inconsistently in Week 1, most seemed to expect them to beat Last Vegas, given that they had to travel across the country on a short week after a very emotional win. However, the Raiders got the best of the Steelers on Sunday for a number of reasons. We’ll begin our recap of the Steelers and Raiders matchup discussing injuries.

Injuries Abound

One element of this loss was the mounting injuries for the Steelers. Now obviously, every team deals with injuries; the Raiders lost both their starting guards at the beginning of the week, along with their starting running back. But the Steelers’ injury problems began late in the week. On Friday, cornerback Joe Haden and linebacker Devin Bush appeared on the injury report with “questionable” designations. On Sunday, both were declared inactive. 

To make matters worse, two more starters suffered injuries that knocked them out of the game on Sunday. Tyson Alualu fractured his ankle and could be lost for the season. But the worst loss came when TJ Watt pulled up in the first quarter. He went to the sideline and discarded his helmet and gloves. When he came out for the second half, he was in street clothes. Watt indicated that he suffered a groin injury, like Haden and Bush, but should be ready to go for this week’s game. 

Again, injuries are a part of the NFL. But losing four starters late in the week, including two during the game, prevents the coaches from being able to gameplan around these absences and get the backups reps with the starters. There’s also the fact that losing a consistent DPOY candidate and arguably the best edge defender in the NFL makes a significant negative impact on the defense. At the end of the day, it’s hard to expect a defense to be their best when they’re missing four starters with no practice to prep for it. But let’s dive into the actual game. 

Steelers Raiders Recap: Defense

Against the Bills, the Steelers did an excellent job at preventing explosive plays. They also prevented Stefon Diggs from destroying them like in their 2020 matchup. Part of this success is attributable to the Steelers’ willingness to sell out to stop the pass and play different types of coverages. Obviously, Pittsburgh’s pass rush helped as well, as they kept Josh Allen from being comfortable in the pocket. Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff took elements from their game plan against Buffalo and applied them to their matchup with Las Vegas. This strategy worked for a time.

The Steelers took extreme measures to eliminate tight end Darren Waller from the Raiders’ game plan. Waller earned double coverage, typically with an underneath defender and a safety over the top. Essentially, Pittsburgh wanted Derek Carr to beat them with his other, not-as-elite weapons. For most of the game, the Steelers’ defense shut down Waller and forced the Raiders to kick field goals. 

However, in the second half, the defense began to crack and erode. Darren Waller started getting involved; more importantly, the Raiders took advantage of the Steelers’ focus on Waller. Carr comfortably targeted his other weapons, distributing the ball to whoever was open. Players like Wille Snead, Derek Carrier, and Foster Moreau made clutch catches, with the latter scoring the Raiders’ first touchdown. 

The Slow Knife

The backbreaker, of course, came on a beautiful deep shot to Henry Ruggs III. The color commentator, Charles Davis, noted this on the broadcast: the Steelers’ focus on Darren Waller gave just enough room to get Ruggs open on that play. On that play, Minkah Fitzpatrick played as the single-high safety but kept his eyes on Waller. Carr made sure Fitzpatrick held his place, as Carr kept his eyes on Waller as well; Carr even added a very subtle pump fake to get Fitzpatrick to cheat towards Waller. Minkah got back but was just an inch/second too late and in a flash, Ruggs was in the end zone. 

There’s a lot of blame to be distributed for this play. One could obviously blame Minkah for not keeping proper depth. Against a guy like Ruggs, you have to make sure you keep the lid on the pot, so to speak. But I’m sure the coaches instructed Minkah to keep his eyes on Waller and make sure he doesn’t beat you deep. Furthermore, on 3rd and 9, you have to expect Carr is looking at Waller to convert. Give Carr tons of credit here; he took advantage of that assumption, and he threw a perfect ball to Ruggs. 

You could also assign some blame to Ahkello Witherspoon. Obviously, your job as a corner is to prevent a receiver from getting behind you; against a speed demon like Ruggs, that should be your only concern. But give credit to Ruggs here; if you look at the play above, he adds a little hesi-move to his route, causing Witherspoon to freeze and allowing Ruggs to get open.

One might bring up the fact that Witherspoon was playing where Joe Haden would usually line up. Even though Haden is obviously a superb technician as a cover corner, such that he doesn’t need to rely on his speed, I don’t think he would have done a much better job. At the end of the day, the Raiders offense did an excellent job executing, even when the Steelers took away their primary weapon. Pittsburgh wanted Las Vegas to beat them with their third and fourth options; they did just that. 

Steelers Raiders Recap: Offense

The Steelers offense has averaged 16.5 points through two games, a far cry from the explosive, versatile unit of the mid-2010s. However, in comparison to their performance last week, I would argue they looked markedly improved. Opening the game last week, the Steelers punted on every drive in the first half, going three and out on two of those five drives.

This week, they still didn’t score until midway through the second quarter. But they only went three and out once. Two of their first three drives ended in turnovers (an interception and a turnover on downs). Despite those mistakes, Ben Roethlisberger played very well, arguably his best game since last October (granted, that isn’t saying much). He did a good job surveying the defense and throwing to the right receiver. We even saw him throw some very nice deep balls. Not all of them were caught but more often than not, they were decently accurate and gave the receiver a legitimate chance to make a play on the ball. 

However, Ben was very reticent to test the defense over the middle in the intermediate range. This was most likely due to the Raiders’ coverage schemes. But to have a complete offense, you need to threaten that area. Hopefully, the Steelers can incorporate that into their offense in the coming weeks. 

Growing Pains

With that being said, the most pressing issue for the Steelers’ offense is the offensive line. Roethlisberger still did a solid job of getting rid of the ball quickly. But he took too many hard hits. Dan Moore Jr. took a step back in his second career start and Chukwuma Okorafor had another rough day at the office. The bigger problem, as many would expect was the run blocking. While it was somewhat improved relative to last week, as Najee Harris had a better game, it still isn’t good enough. Harris got stopped behind the line multiple times and he’s getting physically punished by defenders every play. 

Luckily, there is a remedy for these symptoms, although it might be unpleasant: time and patience. The Steelers’ offensive line in the mid-to-late-2010s was so dominant because they were experienced veterans with great chemistry as a unit. This offensive line features two rookies, a second-year player in his first year as a starter, a fourth-year player who is technically a backup and still their weakest link, and a veteran on his third team with pass-blocking limitations. Nothing is going to help this offensive line more than playing time with each other. This line is going to take their lumps, especially the younger guys. But that’s the necessary evil to get better. 

Embed from Getty Images

The Quarterback-chelor: Week 2

Welcome to The Quarterback-chelor! I am your host, Mitchell Wolfe, and we’re excited to bring you this new show, where the 2022 NFL Draft is looking for their QB1. Every week, we’ll break down the 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks and how they are progressing in their relationship with the Draft to be the top-ranked quarterback.

Last year, our lead, the 2021 NFL Draft had many exciting suitors. But in the end, the favorite from the beginning, Trevor Lawrence, established an incredible connection and went home as the top-ranked QB and the #1 overall pick. This year, our Draft has a litany of handsome and exciting prospects looking for love and the honor of winning QB1. We met our contestants last week and Tanner Morgan from Minnesota got sent home. This week, many of our front-runners from before the season had comeback performances on the show. We also had two contestants go home. Let’s dive in!

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

Spencer is one of the contestants that had a big bounce-back week. In this episode, he was much more poised and looked the Spencer that many fans expected to see. Granted, it was during a very easy date with little to no competition. Our draft may still have some questions for him. But nailing some of the easy questions should help assuage some of their worries. 

Sam Howell, North Carolina

Sam also had a strong comeback episode. Like Rattler, it was a simple opportunity. But he had a lot of ground to cover after a pretty poor showing in the first week. Getting back to an even footing with some of the frontrunners should be Sam’s primary focus. He was able to do that this week, but he’ll need to show he can do it consistently, especially when challenged. 

Carson Strong, Nevada

Carson had another strong week and he’s starting to gain a very big fan base. He’s certainly been the most consistent guy on the show so far. Our Draft likes to see that even-keel nature, Carson hasn’t really been challenged for a whole episode this season, so we’ll have to see how he responds if that happens. As it stands right now, however, nobody’s stock is rising faster than Carson’s. 

Malik Willis, Liberty

Malik put together a very strong week as well. He’s still somewhat of a sleeper pick. But there are pockets of fans that really like him and think he has what it takes to sweep our Draft off its feet. He might not get the best date opportunities or exposure on the show, relative to the front runners. But if he can string some excellent dates together, there’s an outside chance he wins this whole thing. 

Matt Corral, Mississippi

Mississippi Matt flew under the radar this weekend, not getting much air time on this episode. His spontaneity was on display again. But Matt needs to show that he can also be part of a stable relationship, not one ruled by constant ups-and-downs. It looks like there could be a very dramatic date coming up in Matt’s future. We’ll have to see how he responds to contestants from seasons past. 

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Desmond had another very strong week. It was a bit of an uncomfortable start but he rallied and put together a very strong performance for our Draft. Based on the previews and the rumors we’ve heard leaking out for this season, it looks like Desmond is going to have to answer some tough questions in the coming weeks. Based on the previews and rumors leaking from the show, it looks like he and Michael will have a major two-on-one date in the next episode, which will surely be must-watch television. 

Kedon Slovis, USC

Kedon put together another lackluster performance this episode. He’s being saved by other contestants doing worse. But his stock is pointed strongly downward. Our Draft has high expectations for their QB1 and Kedon is not meeting them. But, Kedon is apparently receiving some new guidance from the producers. We’ll have to see how that affects his performance and dates moving forward, but it should be helpful. 

JT Daniels, Georgia

Surprisingly, JT was not in the episode this week. There was talk that he wasn’t feeling well and may have even suffered an injury, like the next quarterback on our list. This is relatively typical, as sometimes we just don’t have enough time to include every contestant every week. Luckily, there should be plenty of time for JT later in the season. 

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Many people are increasingly impressed with Grayson on this season. He’s injecting a lot of life into his relationship with the draft. His youth is still a major drawback. Typically, our Drafts look for slightly older, more mature contestants. But if Grayson keeps showing up and performing extremely well, maybe becomes the youngest contestant to win the show since 2015. 

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Kenny had another very solid week. While he was impressive, we still didn’t learn anything new about him. He was still wearing the gloves, which was disappointing. But Kenny is definitely a very safe contest that our Draft will probably keep around for a while this season. He may not have the high ceiling like the other contestants. But he’s reliable and consistent. 

Michael Penix Jr., Indiana

Like some of the other contestants, Michael had a pretty easy week. It was important that he make up some ground after an extremely poor showing in the first episode. As previously mentioned, it looks like he will have a two-on-one matchup with Desmond on this week’s episode. If I had to make a prediction, I think Desmond will come out on top. But if Michael ends up winning, it could mean he will be on this show for a long time. 

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

DTR had the week off this episode. He’s had some really high moments so far but has also made some big mistakes. The problem is, like our next contestant, he’s pretty short. Therefore, the high variance of his appearances may not be able to overcome his lack of height. DTR needs to start showing that he’s focused on this process and willing to commit. 

D’Eriq King, Miami

D’Eriq had another tough week. It looks like the injury he suffered pre-show is really limiting his ability to impress our Draft. He also just isn’t the fun-loving, spontaneous, creative guy we expected him to be this season. If he puts out another lackluster performance on this week’s episode, he could be on his way home. With that being said, D’Eriq could be a contender on one of the spinoff franchises, like Wide Receiver Games or Catching Love. 

Phil Jurkovec, Boston College

Unfortunately, it looks like Phil will be the first guy on the season to fall victim to the dreaded ambulance shot. He suffered a hand injury and had to leave to go to the hospital. It looks like Phil is done for this season. However, there have been many contestants in seasons past that return for the following season after suffering an injury. We hope Phil makes his return in the 2022 season. 

Brock Purdy, Iowa State

It was another really tough week for Brock. He’s not showing any of the personality that some fans really liked when he was rumored to be joining the show in years past. Brock keeps making mistakes and looks uncomfortable to just be around our Draft. Despite being in and around the franchise for many years, it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it much further.

Who Doesn’t Get the Rose

This week, we have two contestants going home, albeit one for medical/health reasons. Phil Jurkovec will be leaving the show due to a hand/wrist injury. But he will most likely be back next season. The other contestant going home is Brock Purdy from Iowa State. As mentioned previously, Brock just looked incredibly uncomfortable this week and couldn’t get anything going in a high-leverage situation. Our Draft needs to see more poise for their QB1. For that reason, Brock is going home, in what is most likely his last appearance in this franchise. We’ll be back next week to see who is our Draft’s favorite. And guess what? We may even see some new men enter the race for QB1 on the Quarterback-chelor. 

Embed from Getty Images