Eagles asked UNC quarterback Sam Howell to play an unusual game at NFL scouting combine

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North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell better excel at two sports if he hopes to be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had a strange request for Howell during an interview at the scouting combine, and it had nothing to do with football.

The team reportedly asked Howell to shoot a basketball into a mini hoop. Howell revealed that tidbit Wednesday, joking that he's probably off the team's draft board after going 2-for-5.

Howell did not provide details on the basketball and hoop, but we assume it was the type you hung on your door when you were a kid ... or whenever. Getting joy out of a mini hoop is an ageless thing.

The Eagles likely had a reason for asking Howell to shoot hoops. Perhaps the team was trying to gauge Howell's overall athleticism? Maybe the team was trying to judge Howell's accuracy when throwing something other than a football? It's also possible the team asked Howell to shoot a basketball to make him uncomfortable and throw him off his interview game.

The Eagles are known for asking prospects to engage in odd games. The team had prospects play paper, rock, scissors last year to gauge each player's competitiveness.

Sam Howell at the NFL combine.
Sam Howell was asked to shoot mini basketballs. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Sam Howell could be a first-round draft pick

Howell is getting first-round buzz after putting up strong numbers in college. Howell threw for 92 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in three seasons at North Carolina. Our own Eric Edholm believes Howell could be taken in the first round of the 2022 draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be interested, especially if Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis are off the board by the time Pittsburgh picks at No. 20.

The Eagles hold the No. 15, No. 16 and No. 19 pick. The team could always snag Howell multiple picks before Pittsburgh, but only if the Eagles were fine with Howell shooting 2-for-5 on a mini hoop.