3 bold predictions heading into the 2023 season: Sam Howell a top-8 NFC quarterback
The last of these bold predictions pertain to the Washington Commanders’ second-year quarterback Sam Howell. The young quarter comes in unheralded as he was a fifth-round pick and he has only one NFL start under his belt. That being said, the future is bright for Howell and he will be one of the eight best quarterbacks in the conference this year.
Howell did win his only start against a playoff team long-time rival Dallas Cowboys. Howell also has one of the best offensive coordinators in Eric Bieniemy to lean on in his first full season as a starter. It also appears that he has the backing of his head coach and front offices based on the offseason moves made by them.
Furthermore in a previous article where I ranked all the starting quarterbacks and I had Howell at 27th overall and 12th among NFC quarterbacks. If Howell flourishes and others take a step back then he could possibly slide to either.
The four quarterbacks I have ranked ahead of him are Brock Purdy, Daniel Jones, Kirk Cousins, and Kyler Murray. Purdy could lose his job to former top pick Trey Lance if Lance shows his potential as a second overall pick. Jones might be without Saquon Barkley which would hurt his production if that were to happen.
Cousins is another year older and still has no playoff success so his days in Minnesota. There’s also no guarantee that Murray will return from his injury to the same player who struggled at times. With all those variables, it’s totally possible that Howell could reach the mid-tier of the quarterback ranks in the NFC. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he has an elite receiver depth chart too headline by Terry McLaurin.
These are three very bold predictions for the Washington Commanders for this upcoming season. However, they aren’t unrealistic expectations to have either. It will be interesting to see which if any become true.