All eyes are on Sam Howell as the North Carolina 2022 NFL Draft prospects take center stage in their scouting reports. Howell, vying to be the first quarterback selected, finished his UNC career as one of the top signal-callers in program history. Joining him in the 2022 NFL Draft is a varietal who’s who of top players from the ACC, including LB Jeremiah Gemmel, CB Kyler McMichael, and RB Ty Chandler.
North Carolina 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
The full scouting reports for the Tar Heels in the 2022 NFL Draft indicate a stacked roster from a year ago. Howell was dominant at times, but despite throwing for over 3,000 yards in 2021, he had what was considered a “down” year. Chandler had his moments in his lone season with North Carolina, while McMichael was ultra-impressive at the 2022 Shrine Bowl.
Garrett Walston, TE
Positives: Hard-working tight end with average athleticism. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, displays excellent route discipline, and finds ways to separate from defenders. Extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame. Gives effort blocking at the line of scrimmage and downfield, and he squares into defenders to take them from the action.
Negatives: Lacks size and possesses average blocking strength. Not a downfield threat catching the ball.
Analysis: Walston was a solid college tight end but possesses average size and poor speed that will make it difficult for him to grab a roster spot.
Jeremiah Gemmel, LB
Positives: High-revving linebacker with an underrated game. Plays tough, physical football, gets off blocks, and stacks well against the run. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands, and plays much faster than his 40 time. Very instinctive, quickly diagnoses the action, and works hard to make plays on the field. Stacks well against the run and is effective in pursuit.
Negatives: Not a forceful blitzer. Lacks a great burst in his game. Makes plays based more on instincts and hustle than athleticism.
Analysis: Gemmel is a terrific football player who has a great feel for what’s happening on the field and plays with reckless abandon. He lacks top size as well as speed. But he comes with a special-teams mentality that could help him secure a roster spot.
Jordan Tucker, OL
Positives: Massive offensive lineman who is best in a small area. Quickly sets up off the snap, immediately fires his hands into defenders, and stays square. Strong, turns defenders from the action, and seals them from plays. Keeps his head on a swivel and always looks for someone to hit.
Negatives: Lacks agility and shows no mobility in his game. Lacks footwork in space and struggles to adjust.
Analysis: Tucker is a size prospect with athletic limitations who could back up in a power-gap blocking scheme.
Josh Ezeudu, G
Positives: Quick, athletic blocker who saw time at guard and left tackle in college. Sets with a wide base, blocks with good lean, and mostly gets leverage on opponents. Fires off the snap into blocks, effectively uses his hands, and turns defenders from the action. Keeps his head on a swivel. Strong run blocker who opens up lanes. Displays outstanding awareness and works well with linemates.
Negatives: Must do a better job sinking his butt at the line of scrimmage. Occasionally late with his hands.
Analysis: Ezeudu is a nice-sized blocker with a versatile game and a large upside. I prefer him at guard, and he offers possibilities as a power-gap lineman or in a zone-blocking scheme.
Kyler McMichael, CB
Positives: Underrated cornerback who flashes the ability to shut down opponents. Engages receivers at the line of scrimmage, quickly flips his hips in transition, and displays a closing burst of speed to the play. Shows good awareness and stays with coverage assignments. Physical. Runs downfield with opponents. Fires upfield and gives effort defending the run. Has outstanding length and is rarely challenged by opponents.
Negatives: Not a stout tackler. Turned in average production throughout his college career.
Analysis: McMichael is a nice-sized cornerback who watched his game take off last season. Showing flashes throughout the year, he comes with a large upside and possesses the ability to line up in dime packages. It’s a shame McMichael was not invited to the Combine as he should’ve been. As a result, he will fall deeper into the draft than his talents warrant.
Marcus McKethan, G
Positives: Underrated offensive lineman with outstanding size and power. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and easily anchors at the point. Stays square and gets his hands into defenders. Easily controls opponents at the line of scrimmage and turns them from the action. Handles big, bulky opponents, attacks assignments, and blocks with a nasty attitude. Gets movement run blocking and drives defensive linemen off the line.
Negatives: Lacks quick and fluid footwork and is all over the place in pass protection. Stiff, bends at the waist, and struggles to adjust.
Analysis: McKethan is a terrific run blocker who is a natural fit at the next level in a power-gap system.
Sam Howell, QB
Positives: Strong-armed passer who is patient in the pocket and remains poised under the rush. Senses pressure and steps up to avoid defenders. Natural looking off the safety, looks away from covered targets, and generally plays smart football. Shows a sense of timing on passes, has a live arm, and immediately gets the ball out of his hand.
Accurate, leads receivers with throws, and lets them run to the ball and make receptions in stride. Possesses incredible presence as well as wherewithal, delivers a catchable ball, and puts touch on throws when necessary. Delivers deep throws with speed and throws strikes down the field.
Negatives: Tends to backpedal into the pocket and needs work on his drops. Not a real elusive quarterback who can be relied on to pick up yardage with his legs like he did in 2021. Lacks height and pocket stature. Coming off a slightly disappointing senior season.
Analysis: After a brilliant sophomore campaign, much was expected from Howell last season. And while his year was not a complete flop, it was below expectations. He did rebound and was the most consistent and accurate passer over three days of Senior Bowl practices.
Howell has limitations, but he’s a terrific leader on the field and possesses all the tools necessary to start on Sundays. He has potential in a vertical offense, though you shouldn’t put Howell in a system with a lot of designed quarterback runs.
Want more information on Howell? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Sam Howell NFL Draft Scouting Report | North Carolina QB
Tomon Fox, EDGE
Positives: Hard-working defender with average size and speed. Breaks down well, quickly locates the ball handler, and flows laterally to make plays. Resilient, stays with the action, and plays with excellent pad level. Displays good change-of-direction skills, quickly locates the play, and fires upfield to defend the run. Sells out on the blitz and possesses a closing burst.
Negatives: Lined up in a three-point stance at times last season but lacks the size for defensive end. Plays faster than his 40 time but lacks pure pursuit speed. Does more hitting than wrap-up tackling on occasion.
Analysis: Fox was durable and productive at North Carolina, but he lacks any true position in the NFL.
Ty Chandler, RB
Positives: Quick, somewhat creative ball carrier who runs with outstanding vision and instincts. Smart, displays a burst through the hole and plays to his 40 time. Quick-footed, beats defenders into the open field, and makes opponents miss. Multi-cut ball carrier with the ability to bounce around piles and defenders.
Follows blocks everywhere on the field and loses no momentum cutting back against the grain and altering the angle of runs. Patient, gets out in front, and gives effort blocking. Effective pass catcher out of the backfield who adjusts to the throw and looks the ball into his hands.
Negatives: Lacks power in his running and doesn’t pick up a lot of yardage off initial contact. Not a true perimeter runner.
Analysis: Chandler is a nice-sized ball carrier who is productive in all areas of the position. He offers an upside and can easily make a roster as a fifth or even fourth running back.