Commanders add QB Sam Howell in fifth round of 2022 NFL Draft

The Washington Commanders added another face to their quarterback room Saturday when they drafted North Carolina’s Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Earlier in the offseason, the Commanders acquired Carson Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Washington and Indianapolis traded second-rounders in the deal and the Commanders sent the Colts a third-round pick this year and a conditional third-rounder next year.

Wentz, 29, is the presumptive starter for the Commanders heading into the 2022 season, but is set to play for his third team in as many seasons. If Wentz falters in Washington, the team would have the opportunity to cut him during the 2023 offseason with zero dead money.

Howell was a three-year starter at North Carolina where he set several school records, including career passing yards and touchdown passes. He finished his career with the Tar Heels with 92 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions.

In Washington, Howell will battle with Taylor Heinicke for the second spot on the depth chart behind Wentz. Heinicke was called into action to start in the playoffs during the 2020 season when Alex Smith was ruled out due to injury, and he gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a tough fight in a 31-23 loss. A year later, Washington was again forced to rely on Heinicke after Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury.

Heinicke finished the 2021 season with 3,419 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.


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