A potential replacement for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins shined during the first day of Senior Bowl practices.
The first day of Senior Bowl practices took place on Tuesday, Feb. 1 from Mobile, Ala., where NFL Draft prospects look to raise their stock in front of NFL teams. One positional group that is going to be under the microscope the most is quarterback, considering there is not a consensus top option.
The Minnesota Vikings could be a team to keep an eye on in terms of selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft, considering they have a new general manager in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and are set to hire a new head coach.
One quarterback who impressed during the first day of Senior Bowl practice was North Carolina’s Sam Howell, as evidenced by tweets from those who were in attendance.
Potential Kirk Cousins replacement impresses at Senior Bowl
Prior to the start of the 2021 season, it was believed that Howell was going to be one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 class. That is considering he was coming off a sophomore year where he threw for 3,586 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 68.3-percent of his passes. But he is coming off of a season where his production took a bit of a dip and the Tar Heels finished the season with a 6-7 record.
In 12 games, Howell completed 62.5-percent of his passes for 3,056 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Based on a strong first day of practice, Howell’s stock could continue to rise if he keeps impressing throughout the pre-draft process.
When it comes to the Vikings, they have Cousins under contract for one more season. The veteran is set to carry a $45 million cap hit and earn a base salary of $35 million. The only way Minnesota can free up cap space is through a trade, which would free up $35 million, per Spotrac. However, they would eat $10 million in dead money as a result.
Who knows if the Vikings will move on from him and if there would be a team interested in acquiring him. But, with a new head coach arriving in Minnesota, they will no doubt want their preferred quarterback in the room.
The Vikings hold the 12th-overall pick in the first round, putting them in position to take a quarterback of their choosing, whether that is Howell or one of the other top quarterbacks in the draft class.