Sam Howell had to wait until Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft to find out where he was going to continue his career, but the call was worth the patience.
After trading back to get into the fifth round, the Washington Commanders took the North Carolina quarterback with the 144th overall pick. His first call of the afternoon came from Ron Rivera, who told him the good news before the pick was announced on television.
His next call came from Washington wideout and former Tar Heel Dyami Brown, who helped Howell put up record-setting stats at North Carolina. It's easy to see why they're excited to be reunited.
"I'm super fired up. He's one of my best friends," Howell said. "We had so much fun together in North Carolina. I just can't wait to play with him again."
Brown, who was taken by the Commanders in the third round of the 2021 draft, joined North Carolina two years before Howell joined the roster from Sun Valley High School. It didn't take long for them to establish a strong connection. Brown was one of Howell's favorite targets in 2019, as he racked up 54 receptions for 1,034 yards.
That connection continued the following season, when Brown led the team in receiving yards again (1,099). During that time, Howell completed 64.8% of his passes for 7,227 yards, and Brown accounted for nearly a third of Howell's passing touchdowns.
Brown and Howell's skillsets made for an ideal match. Brown was the deep threat who made the third-most contested catches in the two seasons prior to him being drafted, while Howell had the big arm who wasn't afraid to give Brown a chance.
"Man, he's amazing, you know," Brown said of Howell on 106.7 The Fan. "And I've said it before, I wouldn't trade him for any quarterback that's out there, he's definitely one of the best."
Together, the two packed the stat sheets for the Tar Heels. Brown accounted for nearly a third of Howell's record-setting 550 yards against Wake Forest in 2020; he helped Howell get to fifth in passing yards (10,283) and rank third in school history with 98 passing touchdowns.
Howell is going to take this season to sit and learn behind Carson Wentz, but the reunion between him and Brown during OTAs should be a special moment for both players.