The Washington Commanders selected quarterback Sam Howell in the fifth round (No. 144overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday.
Howell, who many expected to be a Day 2 selection, said he often communicated with the Commanders throughout the draft process.
“I met with them at the senior bowl, met at the combine,” Howell said. “I think a couple people were at my pro day. I’ve had a good amount of communication with them. I just kinda knew all along. I kind of had a couple teams that I was interested in. Just after that combine interview and talking to coach Rivera, I knew this was a place that I definitely wanted to be and wanted to play for a guy like that. I’m super excited.”
The North Carolina native will have an opportunity to develop next season behind Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, which excites him.
“I just think it’s a great team, great defense, so many weapons on offense,” Howell said. “I love the quarterback room as well—so many good guys with Carson [Wentz] and Taylor Heinicke in there. I’m just looking forward to getting to work with those guys. Be a lot of fun. I’m fired up.”
Howell can do it through the air and with his legs, and last season, he started 12 games and recorded 217 completions for 3,056 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in his junior year in 2021. He added 183 carries for 828 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Howell believes his legs will be a weapon in the league.
“I think I can definitely use my legs as a weapon,” he said. “In the NFL, I think the main thing is I need to do a better job protecting myself a little bit, taking less hits and slide a little bit more than I did in college, but I definitely think I can use my legs as a weapon.”
He finished third in ACC history with 92 career passing touchdowns, which are the most ever by a player in three or fewer seasons. He ranks fifth in total touchdowns (111), eighth in total offense (11,292 yards), fifth in passing yards (10,283), second in passing yards per game (277.9), and second in passing efficiency (164.2).
If things work out, and he has the goods, maybe Howell can be the quarterback of the future for Washington.