Rendering images with pencil on paper is a fading skill among many design students. But for those that develop and use the skill they are often able to set themselves apart by the quality of the designs they produce.
Drawing helps to faciliate thinking. Hence increasing the potential to work through a problem while also creating a visual record of one's thinking process.
Drawing skills are respected by older practicing design professionals, many who have never relied on the computer as a tool and often are the ones in the position of evaluting potential new employees.