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Projecting Where Sam Howell, Matt Corral Will Be Drafted After 2022 NFL Draft Day 1

Erin WalshApril 29, 2022

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The only quarterback selected in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL draft on Thursday was Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, whom the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted with the No. 20 pick. That said, let's take a look at where North Carolina's Sam Howell and Ole Miss' Matt Corral could end up on Day 2. 

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports reported before the draft began that the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions were "most often linked as potential quarterback teams" in Round 1. 

That said, those teams could be looking for a quarterback in the second round. In terms of specifics, the Lions could select Corral with the No. 46 overall pick, and the Saints could select Howell with the 49th overall pick.

The Lions aren't necessarily confident that Jared Goff can be their quarterback of the future, so it would not be surprising if the franchise selected a quarterback in Round 2. 

Detroit acquired Goff in the deal that sent Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, and he didn't show much improvement from his inconsistent days out west. The 27-year-old completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 14 games. 

That said, Corral could be an intriguing option for the Lions. The 23-year-old was impressive in his fourth season at Ole Miss, which was his second under head coach Lane Kiffin. He completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,349 yards and 20 touchdowns against five interceptions, in addition to rushing for 614 yards and 11 scores. 

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. (h/t Sports Illustrated) noted in March that he didn't see Goff being Detroit's future and projected the Lions to select Corral in the draft. He added that the Rebels quarterback "throws a ball with some zip" and "is extremely tough," but mentioned a concern being that college coaches didn't ask him to make a lot of reads, which would be an adjustment for him at the NFL level.

Even if the Lions were to select Corral, he would likely spend at least one year learning and developing under Goff. He is nowhere near ready to be a starter in the NFL and would benefit from a year on the sidelines.

Moving on to Howell, he would be a good fit for a New Orleans team looking for a quarterback for the future following Drew Brees' retirement after the 2020 season. 

The Saints relied on Jameis Winston for seven games in 2021 until he suffered a torn ACL. They then tried Ian Book, Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill under center, but none thrived for the franchise. 

Winston is back for the 2022 season and will likely start regardless if the team drafts a quarterback. However, it's unclear if the Saints view him as their long-term quarterback. 

Howell was viewed as one of the better passers in this year's draft, but his 2021 performance caused some concern. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,056 yards and 24 touchdowns against nine interceptions, all of which are down from his 2020 performance. 

That said, Howell has tremendous upside and might be worth taking a chance on. 

B/R's NFL Scouting Department notes that Howell has a "good build," is a tough runner, has good arm strength and above-average accuracy. Those traits would help him fit in well in New Orleans. 

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