Big 12 News

Senior Bowl Director Predicts Will Howard Could End Up in Early Rounds of 2024 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Kansas State at West Virginia

Kansas State‘s quarterback situation was a topic of conversation among many fans of the Big 12 last season, as the team brought in Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez to lead the squad before suffering an injury against Iowa State, starting the redemption arc of Will Howard.

Howard stepped in halfway through the season and lead the Wildcats to their first Big 12 title since the 2012 season, earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy took to Twitter to rave about the senior QB predicting that Howard is, “one under-radar name in 2024 QB class who could end up in early round mix by next April.”

 

Nagy detailed Howard’s improvement under head coach Chris Klieman saying, “If we had to pick one under-radar name in 2024 QB class who could end up in early round mix by next April, it would be Kansas State’s Will Howard, whose tape was the biggest surprise of any QB that the Senior Bowl studied this offseason. Howard’s redemptive story of overcoming struggles in his first two seasons to lead K-State to five straight regular-season wins, including the Big 12 title over CFP finalist TCU, will resonate with NFL teams that value players’ ability to overcome adversity.”

Nagy added, “To show how far Howard came last year, K-State got Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez out of the transfer portal to be their starter with the plan of redshirting Howard, so he could regain his confidence with no pressure of playing. Let’s just say 2022 didn’t go according to plan. Numbers-wise, Howard flipped his TD:INT ratio from 9:11 to 15:4 and increased his YPA from 5.4 to 8.8. On tape, he showed confidence, poise, & command far beyond his experience level and consistently made NFL throws in HC Chris Klieman’s pro-style offense. Can’t wait to see Howard build off what he did in 2022.”

Howard lead the Wildcats to five straight wins to close out the season and while he didn’t log a full season of stats, he threw for 1633 yards, with a touchdown to interception ratio of 15-4 and a total QBR of 82.5. The Pennsylvania native’s biggest game of the season came against the 9th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys where Howard led the Wildcats to a 48-0 shutout win to the tune of 296 passing yards and four scores on the day.

Howard enters the 2023 season as both the quarterback of the reigning Big 12 champs, as well as a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. If the Wildcats can follow up their successful 2022 campaign with another big year in 2023, Howard has the toolkit to see his name called early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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