Sam Howell’s recent link-up with draft prospect Drake Maye indicates positive signs for Commanders

Drake Maye, the starting quarterback for UNC, has rapidly gained the admiration of fans with his impressive performance. He stands out with his impressive combination of physical talent and strategic intelligence, a rare blend that only a few college quarterbacks possess. His predecessor, Sam Howell, was another phenomenal player who recently impressed the Washington Commanders enough to be drafted.

Maye has already declared his NFL Draft and is set to join Howell in the competitive league. Ahead of the faceoff in the professional arena, both of them were seen in a recent basketball match.

Sam Howell seen with Drake Maye

Saturday night’s college basketball clash between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils wasn’t just a thrilling matchup on the court. It also brought together Sam Howell and Drake Maye. The Tar Heels emerged victorious with a score of 93-84 in a game that had fans on the edge of their seats. Meanwhile, cameras caught Howell seated alongside Maye, and both of them were laughing.

In a recent interview, Howell revealed the depth of his bond with Maye and mentioned him as one of his closest friends. He expressed his admiration for Maye’s achievements and highlighted their regular communication.

“I talk to Drake pretty much every day..He’s one of my really good friends, just super excited for him. What a great career, and it’s been so much fun to watch him and just knowing who he is, the type of person he is, and how hard he’s worked to get to where he is; it’s so much fun to watch… I try to be there for him anytime he needs something,” Howell said to Commanders Wire.

Both footballers played together for one season at North Carolina. Howell played pretty well in the first half of the season. He outperformed quarterbacks like the Buffalo Bills Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Tua Tagovailoa before struggling over the final seven games.

Commanders hold 2nd pick in draft

The Commanders find themselves at a crossroads as they hold the second overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. With quarterback uncertainties, the franchise’s future hinges on making the right decision.

Sam Howell’s debut season as the Commanders’ starter showcased glimpses of promise marred by inconsistency. While displaying poise and deep-ball prowess, he struggled under pressure, leading to an alarming number of sacks and turnovers. The signal-caller amassed impressive yardage and touchdown figures. But his 21 interceptions highlighted the team’s lackluster 4-13 record.

Sam Howell
Sports Illustrated

With the draft approaching, speculation abounds regarding the Commanders’ potential moves. A Drake Maye reunion presents an intriguing possibility. However, the irony lies in Maye’s prior stint replacing Howell at Chapel Hill.

Enter Maye, an unfinished product with both promise and risk. His collegiate career of amassing 8,018 passing yards, 63 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions paints a picture of a player capable of extraordinary throws and daring risks. He also showcased versatility with 1,209 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 302 carries.

Now, the Commanders need to decide if they will give Howell another chance or if they will draft Maye to start a new phase.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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