4 Commanders players who desperately need to develop in 2023

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Jamin Davis
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Jamin Davis /
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(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell /

Sam Howell – Commanders QB

It might have taken some time before Sam Howell got his shot, but a strong performance in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys was enough for hopes to rise. The quarterback looked composed in the face of pressure and drove his team on to ensure they finished their campaign on a high for good measure.

This was a step in the right direction for Howell, who dropped significantly in the 2022 NFL Draft before the Washington Commanders made him a fifth-round pick. This extra source of motivation served him well and head coach Ron Rivera looks set to provide the signal-caller with a legitimate opportunity to win the starting job next season.

Rivera stated that Howell will go into OTAs as the team’s No. 1 option. Although the potential for a veteran arrival in free agency or another college prospect coming into the fold is entirely possible with Carson Wentz likely to be released.

This is something Howell is no doubt aware of. And if last season taught us anything, it’s that the former North Carolina stud likes nothing more than competing.

What comes next for Howell is of critical importance. The talent is obviously there, but evolving as a leader and becoming a more efficient processor is only going to stand him in good stead entering his sophomore campaign.