Commanders head coach Ron Rivera calls Sam Howell a ‘home run’ selection

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UNC football quarterback Sam Howell was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday and despite slipping in the draft, was considered a steal at that spot.

Selected by the Washington Commanders, head coach Ron Rivera was extremely excited to get Howell and even more at the spot they did considering they weren’t necessarily in the market for a quarterback.

“Once we got Carson as our starter, we got off the quarterback train for the most part… To have Sam fall to us was something we had to jump on. We had a very good grade on him — he was, at that point, the highest guy left on our board. … We feel this was a home run for us.”

Howell was the sixth quarterback taken but was consistently slotted to be taken in the second or third round of the draft throughout the pre-draft process.

The Commanders added Carson Wentz in the offseason to go along with backup Taylor Heinicke, who has starter experience in the NFL.

Howell threw for 10,283 yards and 92 touchdowns during his three-year career at North Carolina. He also averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and completed 63.8 percent of his passes. He holds nearly every UNC passing record.

The North Carolina native also ranks third in ACC history with 92 career passing touchdowns and the most ever by a player in three or fewer seasons. He ranks fifth in touchdowns responsible for (111), eighth in total offense (11,292), fifth in passing yards (10,283), second in passing yards per game (277.9) and second in passing efficiency (164.2).

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