The Washington Commanders added another face to their quarterback room on Saturday when they drafted Sam Howell from North Carolina in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Earlier in the offseason, Commanders acquired Carson Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Washington and Indianapolis traded second-round players as part of the deal, and the commanders sent the Colts a third-round pick this year and a conditional third-round pick next year.
Wentz, 29, is the presumptive starter for the Commanders heading into the 2022 season but is expected to play for his third team in as many seasons. If Wentz falters in Washington, the team would have the option to cut him in 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 Taylor Heinicke for second on the depth chart behind Wentz. Heinicke was called into action to start the playoffs in the 2020 season when Alex Smith was ruled out with injury, and he gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a tough fight in a 31- 23. A year later, Washington was forced to rely on Heinicke again after Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury.
Heinicke finished the 2021 season with 3,419 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.