We’ve wrapped up the 2021 draft and everyone is already looking towards the 2022 class to see who QB1 will be. In most people’s minds, it’s a two horse race between Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler and North Carolina’s, Sam Howell.
They both finished the 2021 season on the top-15 in QBR (Rattler-81.2/Howell-79.3). Both are playing for coaches known for their development. Both are surrounded by a wealth of talent. So, what separates them?
Howell has a killer long ball and moves extremely well and runs a pro-style offense with ease. In his two seasons at UNC, he has 7227 yards, 68 TDs, and only 14 INTs. He doesn’t make risky throws and plays extremely safe.
His ability to stay calm in the pocket is what blows me away. Watching his film against top-tier defenses like Miami and Clemson make me genuinely excited for him in the NFL. He’s isn’t afraid to roll out and is deceptively elusive.
We all know the work that Lincoln Riley has put in with NFL QBs like Baker, Kyler, and Jalen Hurts. The common denominator with all these QBs, they were all transfers from high-tier programs. Rattler will be the first QB that Riley has fully developed.
Rattler started off 2021 extremely slow and even ended up getting benched during the Red River shootout. When he came back in, it was a completely revitalized QB. Rattler led Oklahoma to being the 8th ranked team in the country after dropping out of the top 25.
Rattler gambles with his passes a lot more than Howell. Rattler knows he has the arm to hit 50 yard bombs, but fans know that he can lean on that and ends up throwing risky balls that turns into INTs (7 in 2021).
Both of these guys are ballers and this kills me as a Sooner fan, but give me Sam Howell. Neither of these guys are the next Trevor Lawrence, they have a lot to prove during their junior year, but Howell seems like he could step into the NFL and ball out right now. Spencer Rattler needs to make a massive leap this year for me to be fully sold on him. That being said, if any coach can make him a certified star, it’s Lincoln Riley.