5 UDFAs that could surge into roster spots at Commanders' 2024 camp

Could NFL dreams come true for these undrafted free agents?
Tyler Owens
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Sam Hartman - Commanders QB

Sam Hartman had a very lengthy college career. The quarterback played five seasons with Wake Forest before transferring to Notre Dame for his final year of eligibility. He holds ACC conference records for most passing yards and passing touchdowns thanks to his extended stint in the college ranks.

His best statistical seasons came in 2021 and 2022 with Wake Forest. Hartman put up 7,929 yards, 77 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions in those two campaigns combined. Due to the change in his offensive system, the signal-caller was asked to pass a lot less in 2023 with the Fighting Irish. This resulted in a modest 2,689 yards, 24 touchdowns, and eight picks.

Hartman leans more to being a pocket passer. He can run a little if he needs to, but I wouldn’t rely on him for it. This is the opposite of what the Washington Commanders’ new schematic concepts look like with No. 2 overall selection Jayden Daniels at the helm. This is why Marcus Mariota was signed on as the veteran backup.

However, I wouldn't say this is going to hurt Hartman's chances of earning a roster spot. It’s valuable to have a No. 3 quarterback on the roster capable of adapting to different styles. This is invaluable for the defense when practicing for upcoming games.

Looking at Washington's depth chart currently, Hartman is battling with veteran Jeff Driskel for the third spot behind Daniels and Mariota. Much will also depend on whether the Commanders take three men under center through or just rely on a practice squad presence stepping up when needed.

There is already a veteran quarterback on the roster in Mariota. As long as Hartman can show some talent in training camp, he can edge out Driskel. Whether that'll be on the 53-man team or the practice squad is another matter.

Hartman is a development project that might not ever become a starting-caliber presence. Being coachable will be crucial to his hopes of getting an extended stay in the nation's capital.