1. Taylor Heinicke
The selection of Sam Howell in the fifth round is an interesting one, as his career projections are all over the place. Some fans view him as a career backup, while NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks views him as a future starter. Others — we’ll just call them haters — think he belongs as a third-stringer for his entire career.
We like to think Howell can become a starter down the road; perhaps after being groomed for a season or two while he adjusts to the speed of NFL defenses, learns the playbook and works on being more accurate on ordinary throws.
Having said that, there’s no reason to think Howell can’t push, and eventually supplant, Taylor Heinicke as Washington’s backup. If Howell can make even the smallest of strides in those aforementioned areas of weakness during camp and the preseason, his superior arm talent could give him the edge.
Of course, the Commanders aren’t going to just kick Heinicke to the curb. For all his deficiencies as a pocket passer, Heinicke led the team to seven wins, has the respect of the locker room and has an undeniable flair for the dramatic.
But even Heinicke’s biggest supporters can admit that Howell’s arrival brings into question Heinicke’s job security. Luckily for the Old Dominion product, he loves a challenge and isn’t going to relinquish his job without a fight.
Get your popcorn ready.