A year ago, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell was a regular feature in the first round of most mock drafts. But an uneven season with the Tar Heels in 2021, sunk his draft stock ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. He was eventually picked by the Washington Commanders in the fifth round, and while he’s got some work to do to develop into an NFL-caliber starter, he’s definitely got the raw talent to eventually become a franchise cornerstone.
Commanders estimated QB depth chart
1. Carson Wentz
2. Sam Howell
3. Taylor Heinicke
Fantasy football breakdown
Washington’s big offseason acquisition Carson Wentz is the presumed starter, and he should be under center when Week 1 rolls around, barring injury or some other unusual circumstance. Washington is insistent that Wentz is a long-term solution at the position, something underscored by his four-year, $128 million contract. However, anyone who’s seen Wentz play recently knows that things just might not work out.
Given the circumstances, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Washington turn to a backup at some point. Heinicke’s ceiling is pretty well established; we saw it through 15 starts last season. It wouldn’t take much for Howell to beat him out of camp for the No. 2 job.
Howell’s a good fit in Washington. He throws a nice deep ball, something that goes well with Scott Turner’s offensive system, and he’s capable of using his legs to make plays too. In fact, Howell rushed for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns in college last season. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him overtake Heinicke on the depth chart before the season’s over.