Commanders draft UNC QB Sam Howell at No. 144

This draft’s slow-paced approach with non-Kenny Pickett quarterbacks affected Sam Howell, whose wait lasted well into Day 3. The Commanders stopped the skid.

Washington led off the fifth round by taking the North Carolina passer at No. 144. Howell is this draft’s sixth QB selected, coming in behind Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis, Matt Corral and Bailey Zappe.

Although Howell waited much longer to hear his name called than expected, he lands in an interesting place. The Commanders took on Carson Wentz’s full salary in their trade with the Colts, but the twice-traded quarterback is a year-to-year proposition. Wentz is on Washington’s books at $28.3M this year, with $22M of that figure being guaranteed. None of Wentz’s money over the next two years is guaranteed.

While the prospect of Howell becoming a starter is jumping the gun, as there are currently no fifth-round QBs penciled in as their teams’ starters, the Commanders have started five Week 1 QBs in the past six years. Wentz will become No. 6, with the former North Carolina passer set to develop behind he and Taylor Heinicke. The latter’s contract runs through 2022.


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