Chase Claypool getting comfortable with Mitch Trubisky as QB

Former UNC football QB Mitch Trubisky is building a good relationship with WR Chase Claypool during OTAs with the Pittsburg Steelers.

After a season as a backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and in a locker room alongside star quarterback [autotag]Josh Allen[/autotag], former UNC football standout [autotag]Mitch Trubisky[/autotag] as ready for his second chance as a starting QB in the NFL.

Trubisky, who signed with the Pittsburg Steelers this offseason, is trending as the starting quarterback as OTAs and minicamps are going on.

It also doesn’t hurt to have good chemistry with the No. 1 wide receiver on the team in [autotag]Chase Claypool[/autotag].

Claypool talked about his relationship with the former UNC quarterback earlier this week.

“He’s an awesome guy. He’s easy to get along with, easy to talk to and he’s very forgiving if you make a mistake. He doesn’t care, just moves on to the next play,” Claypool said. “I think just because he always comes and talks to you after something doesn’t go perfectly, you know exactly what to do next time so you can build off it.”

Trubisky started 50 of 51 games during his four years in Chicago. He had 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions with the Bears while throwing for 10,609 yards.

His best season was in 2018, his second season, when he threw 28 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions while leading the Bears to an 11-3 record in 14 starts. He was also named to the Pro Bowl that season.

Time will tell if Trubisky will be able to revitalize his career as the once No. 2 overall draft pick, but though the first few months on the Steelers roster, he seems to be doing all of the right things.

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Joshua Ezeudu signs deal with New York Giants

Former UNC football offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu has signed his deal with the New York Giants.

Former UNC football offensive lineman [autotag]Joshua Ezeudu[/autotag] was one of four players selected in the 2022 NFL draft back in April. But Ezeudu was also the first, going off the board to the New York Giants in the third round at No. 67 overall.

And now a few weeks later, he’s signed his first pro contract.

The Giants announced that they have come to terms with the third-round pick as the guard is the fifth player in their class to sign. He’s now signed as the offseason rolls on and he can continue on working to make a push to be the starter in New York.

While with UNC, Ezeudu played both guard and tackle for the Tar Heels on the offensive line but he projects out to be an interior offensive lineman at the next level. He started in 7 of the 13 games he played in as a redshirt freshman and then followed it up with 10 starts in 2020, earning third-team all-ACC honors.

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LOOK: Sam Howell at the Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles

Former UNC football quarterback Sam Howell was one of 42 players to attend the NFL Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles.

Former UNC football quarterback [autotag]Sam Howell[/autotag] had to wait longer than expected to hear his name called in the 2022 NFL draft but he finally found a new home, joining the Washington Commanders. Howell will sit behind Carson Wentz to start his career but has a solid chance to eventually be the starter there and solve the franchises’ woes at the position.

With rookie minicamp in the books, the offseason will start to ramp up here in the coming weeks and Howell will have the chance to showcase his skills for his coaches and teammates. But before that, he was one of 42 players to participate in the Rookie Premiere event this weekend:

Each year the NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) puts on a showcase for the top rookies in that year’s draft class as it’s one of the biggest marketing and business events for the players early in their careers.

The event is held in Los Angeles and this year is the first time since 2019 that players were in person for the event. It also showcased the rookies in their jerseys for the first time in their careers.

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“It taught me a lot”: Former Tar Heels running back Ty Chandler discusses transfer to UNC

Former UNC running back Ty Chandler discusses the lessons he learned in his career, including what he learned from the transfer portal.

The transfer portal has been a long and windy road for multiple prospects in multiple sports. Over the past two years, however, it has become the main recruiting area for most college coaches looking for impact players.

Look no further than former UNC football running back [autotag]Ty Chandler[/autotag]. The Tennessee running back transferred to North Carolina for the 2021 season and had a breakout year.

Chandler rushed for 1,092 yards with 13 touchdowns in his lone season at UNC and put himself in line for a selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

And with hard work comes reward as he was taken in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings.

Chandler discussed his decision to transfer and the lessons he learned along the way with Vikings.com.

“It has taught me a lot,” Chandler said. “It has taught me the beauty of hard work and just speaking stuff into existence and watching stuff come to fruition. It has been a grind, it has been a process, but I feel like with every step I’ve just gotten better along the way and met great people along the way that are willing to help and continue to push me toward that success. So I’m grateful for everybody I’ve crossed paths with and everybody who has helped me benefit and gain success on the field. So it has truly been a blessing, making transitions and like I said meeting new people and getting a chance to play with new people and learn from other individuals.”

Prior to his lone season at UNC, Chandler had totaled just 2,046 yards in four seasons at Tennessee. He also had 13 combined touchdowns in his Tennessee career — the same total he had in his one season in Chapel Hill.

Chandler heads to the Vikings with the opportunity to learn after one of the best young running backs in the game, Dalvin Cook. There is also potential for early playing time due to the injury history Cook has seen in his early career.

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First look at Sam Howell as a member of the Commanders

We get our first look at former unc football quarterback Sam Howell as a member of the Washington Commanders.

Former UNC football quarterback [autotag]Sam Howell[/autotag]’s fall in the 2022 NFL draft was one of the biggest surprises of those three days in Las Vegas. But at last, Howell heard his named called on Day 3 as Ron Rivera and the Washington Commanders selected him.

Howell comes in behind veteran Carson Wentz but if Howell is the real deal, it might not take long for him to be the long-term starter in D.C.

This past weekend, Howell participated in the Commander’s rookie minicamp taking the reps as QB1 in camp. Here is the first look at Howell in a Commanders uniform and at a practice:

It’s tough to tell how well Howell played during rookie minicamp as evaluations are tough considering you’re playing with fellow rookies as well as players attempting to make the team.

But the biggest thing for Howell now is to have a big offseason when the team opens up minicamp and then eventually training camp.

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Mel Kiper Jr cites inconsistent play for Sam Howell slipping in NFL Draft

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr discusses why UNC quarterback Sam Howell slipped in the 2022 NFL Draft.

North Carolina quarterback [autotag]Sam Howell[/autotag] was expected to be a second-day selection in the 2022 NFL draft, but slipped to the fifth round and a final day pick.

Taken with the first pick in the fifth round to the Washington Commanders, Howell’s slip was a talking point during and after the draft concluded.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr joined in on the discussion during the ESPN broadcast.

“He’s a got a chance to be a starter you would think, Remember, going into the year, we were talking — Todd McShay and I — about him being a first-round draft choice coming off a great year when he had Javonte Williams, Michael Carter and Jazz Newsome … they all left, but he had Josh Downs and Ty Chandler running the football. Things just didn’t happen the way they did. All the numbers came down across the board, but he held the ball too long and had too many passes batted down. He played a little short. We know he’s 6-foot and half, but he played at 6-foot and a half.

“He’s got to find those throwing lanes moving forward in the NFL. He’s got to show a little more fire on the field. He’s got a shot. He was maybe he was a little over-hyped and the Baker Mayfield comparisons were maybe a little exaggerated going into the year. I’m surprised he went to the fifth round, I thought he’d be a third-rounder. There’s some things he’s got to fix to ever being a starter in the NFL.”

Howell had 3,056 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2021. He also rushed for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.

The former UNC quarterback had been anywhere from a late first-round draft pick to the third round in most NFL mock drafts.

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Commanders head coach Ron Rivera calls Sam Howell a ‘home run’ selection

Ron Rivera was very complimentary of former UNC football quarterback and Commanders draft pick Sam Howell after he slipped all the way into the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

UNC football quarterback [autotag]Sam Howell[/autotag] was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday and despite slipping in the draft, was considered a steal at that spot.

Selected by the Washington Commanders, head coach Ron Rivera was extremely excited to get Howell and even more at the spot they did considering they weren’t necessarily in the market for a quarterback.

“Once we got Carson as our starter, we got off the quarterback train for the most part… To have Sam fall to us was something we had to jump on. We had a very good grade on him — he was, at that point, the highest guy left on our board. … We feel this was a home run for us.”

Howell was the sixth quarterback taken but was consistently slotted to be taken in the second or third round of the draft throughout the pre-draft process.

The Commanders added Carson Wentz in the offseason to go along with backup Taylor Heinicke, who has starter experience in the NFL.

Howell threw for 10,283 yards and 92 touchdowns during his three-year career at North Carolina. He also averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and completed 63.8 percent of his passes. He holds nearly every UNC passing record.

The North Carolina native also ranks third in ACC history with 92 career passing touchdowns and the most ever by a player in three or fewer seasons. He ranks fifth in touchdowns responsible for (111), eighth in total offense (11,292), fifth in passing yards (10,283), second in passing yards per game (277.9) and second in passing efficiency (164.2).

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Trio of Tar Heels moving up big boards ahead of 2022 NFL Draft

Three UNC football players, headlined by Sam Howell, are moving up big boards ahead of April 28th’s 2022 NFL Draft.

The 2022 NFL Draft is set to begin next week and that means last minute changes to mock drafts are taking place following player visits and workouts with NFL teams.

There are a few UNC football players looking to hear their names called next week, headlined by quarterback [autotag]Sam Howell[/autotag].

On Wednesday, ESPN.com’s Matt Miller put together his final installment of the top 300 available players.

Most notably, Howell was ranked No. 74 overall and also the No. 5 quarterback in the draft class. Howell has been widely slated to be a late first-round pick or early second-rounder. Mock drafts have him anywhere from the third quarterback taken to the fifth.

According to ESPN’s Todd McShay said Howell “is a competitive, tough runner. He has a big arm. He’s the best deep-ball thrower in this class.”

As for ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr, he said Howell has “everything you look for from an intangibles standpoint. He understands the game. He’s a great worker.”

Most of the recent buzz surrounding Howell does have him finding his way into the first round.

As for two other Tar Heels that are in the top-300, Matt Miller has offensive lineman [autotag]Joshua Ezeudu[/autotag] at No. 142 and linebacker [autotag]Jeremiah Gemmel[/autotag] at No. 173 overall.

The draft begins next Thursday, April 28 and runs through the weekend on Saturday, April 30.

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