Commanders draft for immediate help except for QB Sam Howell

ASHBURN, Va. — Sam Howell understands he is not anticipated to begin his rookie 12 months within the NFL after the Washington Commanders stopped his slide by taking him within the fifth spherical of the draft Saturday.

The remainder of the group’s draft picks cannot say the identical factor.

Except choosing Howell as a developmental quarterback prospect, the Commanders went for instant assist in the draft going right into a season they anticipate to take a serious step ahead. From first-round receiver Jahan Dotson to second-round defensive deal with Phidarian Mathis and third-round working again Brian Robinson Jr. to many of the gamers taken on Day Three, this was about Washington discovering pro-ready prospects who can step in and contribute immediately.

‘It is at all times good to have guys that you could plug in and get some contribution from,’ coach Ron Rivera mentioned. ‘We really feel like we have got guys that may are available in and assist influence what we’re doing on offense or protection and that they will additionally contribute on particular groups in the event that they needed to.’

All the offseason has been about successful prior to later. Rivera and the entrance workplace made that clear in buying Carson Wentz from Indianapolis.

Two massive objectives of the draft had been getting playmakers and safety for Wentz. Dotson, Robinson and Nevada tight finish Cole Turner (taken 5 picks after Howell within the fifth spherical) give Wentz extra choices and seventh-round offensive lineman Chris Paul suits into the safety puzzle.




Each participant Washington took aside from Howell performed a minimum of 4 seasons of faculty soccer.

‘You prefer to see an excellent play historical past while you take a look at guys stats and take a look at their manufacturing over their school careers,’ basic supervisor Martin Mayhew mentioned. ‘It is one thing that we prefer to see.’

Their last decide, Oklahoma State cornerback Christian Holmes, turns 25 in September. Paul turns 24 in August. Even Mathis is simply 11 months youthful than 2018 first-round decide Daron Payne, who he might substitute on the line of defense ultimately.


Getting Howell, at one level thought of the highest QB within the class and projected to go a lot increased, with the primary decide within the fifth spherical could become the steal of this draft. A disappointing last season at North Carolina tanked his inventory, however now he’ll get the prospect to develop behind Wentz and backup Taylor Heinicke.

‘I’ve a lot respect for Carson and every part he is carried out in his profession, and I am excited,’ Howell mentioned. ‘I get to go to a spot the place I can type of sit again and study, study from a man and simply see what it is prefer to be a professional.’



Being a fifth-round decide additionally takes some strain off Howell, who was the sixth QB taken in a category thought to be one of many weakest on the place in years. Rivera mentioned Washington thought extremely of Howell however was not going to take him within the first 4 rounds due to Wentz’s presence.

Rivera known as Wentz to reassure him taking Howell was a long-term transfer and Taylor Heinicke stays the backup going into subsequent season.

‘He is our No. 1 going ahead,’ Rivera mentioned of Wentz. ‘He simply appreciated the truth that I gave him the heads-up. He was really fairly excited as a result of he is heard lots of good issues about Sam.’


Rivera unprompted singled out Turner as a participant who might contribute immediately and mentioned the Nevada tight finish reminded him of Greg Olsen, who performed 9 years for him with Carolina. The Commanders noticed Turner whereas watching video of QB Carson Sturdy, and Turner caught out for the catches he was in a position to make.

‘Whenever you watch the tape and also you watch his catch radius, it is actually, actually spectacular,’ Rivera mentioned. ‘You noticed an incredible catch radius from a good finish.’


Mayhew went into the week wanting so as to add additional draft picks, particularly after spending from that pool to get Wentz from the Colts. Buying and selling down from the eleventh decide to 16 within the first spherical and making one other transfer Saturday netted the Commanders Dotson, Robinson, Howell and Turner.

‘I assumed it labored out properly for us general,’ Mayhew mentioned. ‘You do not at all times get what you need each single time. Typically you are shifting again and also you’re completely different charts and values and it isn’t precisely what you need, but it surely’s what it’s worthwhile to do as a soccer group to attempt to get higher.’


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