The name Commanders may have garnered mixed responses from fans and players, but it’s not scaring away any draft-eligible quarterbacks who could be a fit for Washington next year.
After spending the last 18 months as the Washington Football Team, the franchise revealed its new name, logos and jerseys Wednesday from FedEx Field. At almost the exact same time, participants in this year’s Senior Bowl began meeting with the media. Several D.C.-area reporters were in Mobile, Alabama to cover the festivities and they asked some of the QBs what they thought about the name.
Kenny Pickett declared for the NFL Draft after a redshirt-senior season at Pitt in which he threw for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In the video posted by The Athletic’s Ben Standig, Pickett said he didn’t think any draft-eligible players “care about the name of the team they go to, they just want to get on the team” but that the name was “awesome.”
UNC quarterback Sam Howell spoke with Draft Takeover podcast host Josh Taylor about the name as well, not offering much other than to say “Commanders sounds cool.” Howell, like Pickett, is a potential first-round pick in this April's draft. He wrapped up his final year with the Tar Heels by throwing for 3,056 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The Washington Post’s Sam Fortier also reported that Western Kentucky signal-caller Bailey Zappe said he “wouldn’t mind being a Commander” but also joked, “I’d take all 32, if I could.” Zappe lit up Conference USA last season with 5,967 passing yards, 62 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
All three quarterbacks are expected to see the field during the Senior Bowl, which is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.