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The Washington Commanders selected quarterback Sam Howell in the fifth round (No. 144 overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft. Howell finished third in ACC history with 92 career passing touchdowns, which are the most ever by a player in three or fewer seasons. He ranks fifth in total touchdowns (111), eighth in total offense (11,292 yards), fifth in passing yards (10,283), second in passing yards per game (277.9) and second in passing efficiency (164.2).
Howell (6-1, 220) is the 507th selection made by Washington in the Common Draft era (since 1967) and the 79th fifth-round selection in franchise history.
Howell is the first quarterback drafted by Washington since Dwayne Haskins Jr. in 2019. He is also the 54th quarterback drafted in franchise history and the 21st quarterback to be selected in the fifth round or later. He is the first quarterback selected from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Washington.
Howell started 12 games and recorded 217 completions for 3,056 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his junior year in 2021. He added 183 carries for 828 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Howell was named the Preseason ACC Player of the Year, All-ACC Honorable Mention, and Davey O'Brien Award Great 8 selection.
In his sophomore season, he started 12 games recording 237 completions for 3,587 yards, 30 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Howell was named a 2020 Manning Award Finalist, 2020 Davey O'Brien Award Semifinalist, and 2020 All-ACC Second Team.
As a True Freshman, Howell started all 13 games at quarterback and completed 259 passes for 3,641 yards along with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He set the FBS true freshman record and UNC school record with 38 touchdown passes which are the third-most in a season in ACC history and the second most by a freshman quarterback. He was named 2019 Freshman All-American, 2019 ACC Offensive & Overall Rookie of the Year, and 2019 ACC All-Academic.
A native of Indian Trail, N.C., Howell attended Sun Valley High School in North Carolina and was a consensus four-star prospect who was ranked the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina, the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country, and the No. 87 overall player nationally by the 247Sports Composite.