1. The Commanders are invested in Howell
The Commanders didn’t trade up to draft Howell, but it speaks volumes they invested a fifth-round pick on a QB who entered the pre-draft process as a surefire first-rounder. Every draft analyst in the business viewed Howell as a steal in Round 5 and the hype was only amplified during the preseason.
Howell looked better than Heinicke in the preseason. The rookie led all quarterbacks with 547 passing yards and brought the Commanders back from a 20-6 deficit against the Panthers in Week 1 with two rushing touchdowns; showing off his dual-threat ability.
Care to guess how Zappe looked in preseason? He went 45-of-71 for 462 yards and one touchdown to three interceptions. It’s not like Zappe lit it up and he’s now performing better than expected against first-team defenses.
Howell already has a strong preseason under his belt. Who’s to say that momentum wouldn’t carry over into the regular season? There’d obviously be growing pains, but with Wentz out for the foreseeable future, wouldn’t it make sense for Washington to see what it has in Howell over the remaining 11 games?
The 2023 draft is deep at quarterback. Better to know beforehand if you should draft a Bryce Young, CJ Stroud or Will Levis. If Howell turns out to be the answer, that first-round pick can be invested in another position of need.
Heinicke might be the right move for the immediate future, but giving Howell some run is an absolute must with Wentz out indefinitely.