Commanders drop bombshell on Sam Howell in recent 2024 NFL mock draft

Nothing should be off the table...
Michael Penix Jr.
Michael Penix Jr. / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders dropped a bombshell on starting quarterback Sam Howell in Pro Football Network's recent 2024 mock draft.

All signs currently point to the Washington Commanders moving forward with quarterback Sam Howell long-term. There is growing confidence within the building that they've found their franchise guy under center at long last, with Dianna Russini of The Athletic's recent report lending further weight to the claims.

These statements aren't just coming from the coaching staff. Russini revealed that it's also a sentiment echoed by Josh Harris' ownership group. who've begun to make their presence felt on the football side of things after using the first few months of their tenure to assess.

While this is positive - especially from Howell's point of view - a lot can change between now and then. A new general manager and head coach might have a completely different view of how to take the franchise forward and it's also worth remembering that the Commanders are now rich in draft assets after trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the deadline.

Commanders select Michael Penix Jr. in 2024 mock draft

This was a topic brought up by Ian Valentino from Pro Football Network in his latest 2024 mock draft. Instead of focusing on other key needs, the analyst mocked quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to the Commanders at No. 11 overall.

"Washington did well to land Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but Howell’s shortcomings have also shown up throughout his first season as a starter. He takes a ton of sacks and has a long way to go before he makes enough positive plays to make up for it. With a new regime possibly coming to D.C., a new QB is likely. Michael Penix Jr. has helped his stock significantly this year, even if his game has shown more cracks recently. Like Tua Tagovailoa, Penix is a pocket passer with an incredible touch on his throws. Yet, he struggles to create on the move or while under pressure especially well, so Washington needs a top-notch scheme or blockers in front of him."

Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network

Again, nothing is coming out of the Commanders right now that suggests anything other than Howell being under center in 2024. Building around his Day 3 rookie contract could be the best thing for this franchise, but nothing should be completely dismissed with so much uncertainty around those in positions of power.

Penix has seen his stock rise arguably more than any other signal-caller this season. His win against USC and potential No. 1 pick Caleb Williams on Saturday almost cemented his status as a high-end selection next spring, with his supreme accuracy at all three levels and growing poise representing instantly transferable skills from college to the pros.

In this scenario, the Commanders could take Penix before focusing their attention on fortifying the offensive line with their two second-round selections. However, large sections of the fanbase are clamoring for their first pick to be a premium edge protector to make things easier for Howell.

This speculation will continue throughout the coming months. It starts with Ron Rivera and other influential figures - will Harris keep them around or choose a complete reset?

Smart money says the latter. And the domino effect might lead the Commanders to a new signal-caller along the way.

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