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Washington Commanders rookie QB Sam Howell reportedly viewed as ‘one of the steals of the draft’

Jason Burgos

The Washington Commanders have long been an organization devoid of franchise quarterbacks, however, one NFL scout believes the team may have something special on their hands with rookie fifth-round pick Sam Howell.

It seems like for the better part of the last 50 years, Washington D.C.’s football team has always lacked legitimate franchise quarterbacks. No matter how hard they’ve tried, how many top picks they have used on signal callers, or millions they’ve spent on potential rich QBs, the organization can never find a long-term answer at the position.

The hope for at least this season is that the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Carson Wentz, can finally bring much-needed competent stability to the position. That is still yet to be determined as the 29-year-old is now on his third team in three years heading into the start of the 2022 season. However, there may be a reason for long-term hope in Washington beyond Wentz, and even back up Taylor Heinicke.

Related: Washington Commanders schedule – Carson Wentz era opens up against Jaguars

The 2022 NFL draft was seen as one of the weaker QB drafts in recent years. Only one was taken in the first round, and it wasn’t even the player many saw as the best in the class. While QB wasn’t high on the priority list for the Commanders after trading for Wentz before the draft, the team still took a flyer on North Carolina star Howell with their pick in the fifth round. In his opportunities during training camp and the preseason the 21-year-old has looked good, and there is a belief that the Commanders may have actually found a rare late-round gem.

Sam Howell has a legitimate chance to be next Washington Commanders starting quarterback

washington commanders
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Fox Sports NFL contributor Ralph Vacchiano reported on one NFL scout who considers Sam Howell “one of the steals of the draft.” While the same scout admitted there were some questions about Howell’s readiness for professional football, they were still stunned the Commanders were able to land such a skilled player so late in the draft.

“With his talent, he should have never lasted that long in the draft. That happens with quarterbacks. You don’t take them high if you don’t need them. But he was also inconsistent [in his final year at North Carolina]. There wasn’t a lot [of talent] around him, but the knock on him was that the tools were there, but he just didn’t look ready.”

Scout on Commanders Sam Howell

Thus far, Howell has looked more ready than originally thought. In the preseason he put up very solid numbers going 43-of-69 on his passes, with 547 yards in the air, one touchdown, one interception and ran 13 times for 94 yards. He has also earned rave reviews during Commanders camp this summer. While he is not expected to play in 2022 with both Wentz and Heinicke in front of him on the depth chart, he is certainly giving the organization, and some in the NFL, reason to believe there may be a future QB star in Washington.