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Commanders select Sam Howell with first choice of fifth round

Chris Simms breaks down his 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks rankings and explains why Matt Corrall, Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis are in a league of their own.

In the initial odds posted by PointsBet for the 2022 draft, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell was second (+350) to then-Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler (+225) to be the No. 1 overall choice. How quickly things change.

Rattler transferred to South Carolina for the 2022 season after losing his job last season, and Howell lasted until the first choice of the fifth round Saturday.

The Commanders selected Howell with the 144th overall choice.

He was the sixth quarterback to hear his name called in the 2022 draft, following Pitt’s Kenny Pickett (20th to the Steelers), University of Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder (74th to the Falcons), Liberty’s Malik Willis (86th to the Titans), Ole Miss’ Matt Corral (94th to the Panthers) and Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe (137th to the Patriots).

Howell will reunite with his favorite receiver, Dyami Brown, whom the Commanders selected in the third round.

He joins a quarterbacks room with Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke after finishing his UNC career ranked in the top five in ACC history in several categories, including passing yards (10,238) and total touchdowns (111).