Washington Commanders Updated Quarterback Depth Chart Following Carson Wentz Trade

The Washington Commanders were in the market for a quarterback, but it doesn’t appear they got their first, second, or even third choice. Instead, they ended up with Carson Wentz after acquiring him from the Indianapolis Colts for two third-round draft picks.

Wentz is a polarizing player, and the unexpected move will undoubtedly have mixed reviews. Still, Ron Rivera’s squad needed an upgrade at quarterback. Time will tell if the sixth-year signal-caller can be the answer in Washington.

Here’s a look at the Commanders’ current quarterback depth chart following the trade for Wentz.

The Washington Commanders acquired Carson Wentz to be the No. 1 quarterback

Colts QB Carson Wentz looks on during game against the Patriots
Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts reacts during game against the New England Patriots | Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After how the Indianapolis Colts’ 2021 season ended, it seemed almost inevitable that Carson Wentz would be playing elsewhere in 2022. It was unclear what the market would be for the North Dakota State product, but the Commanders felt good about taking a chance.

Wentz had a decent year before the Week 18 meltdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 17 games while completing 62.4% of his passes. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 70.9 on the season.

General manager Chris Ballard and the front office gave up on the 29-year-old quarterback. Now, Martin Mayhew and the Commanders front office are hoping Wentz can be their guy moving forward.

Wentz is undoubtedly the most talented passer on the depth chart. However, he’s struggled with inconsistency throughout his career. Washington needs a leader under center. Wentz has proven he can lead, but his production needs to match. He should have every chance to do that for the Commanders in 2022.

Assessing the rest of the QB depth chart

While Carson Wentz would likely begin the 2022 NFL season as the Commanders’ starting quarterback, it’s difficult to ignore Taylor Heinicke’s work during the 2021 campaign.

Heinicke finished the year with 3,419 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing 65% of his passes. The Old Dominion product played a huge role in Washington’s four-game winning streak in the middle of the season. It’s unclear if we’ve seen the best of Heinicke, but he certainly has earned the right to compete for the starting gig.

Ryan Fitzpatrick began 2021 as the starter before suffering a season-ending hip injury. The 39-year-old is an unrestricted free agent. Since the team just acquired Wentz, it’s unlikely it retains Fitzpatrick at his price tag.

Kyle Allen is a restricted free agent. He makes the most sense financially as the No. 3 quarterback. He doesn’t offer much upside, but he has experience as a starter plus familiarity with head coach Ron Rivera.

How does the offense look with Wentz under center?

Despite the criticism he’s received, Carson Wentz makes the Washington Commanders a better team on paper. Taylor Heinicke played solid football in 2021, but the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback offers more upside at the position. Washington is also very familiar with him due to his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington struggled offensively for most of the year. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s unit posted 323.6 yards and 19.7 points per game. The team fared much better running the ball, led by Antonio Gibson. The second-year running back rushed for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns on 258 carries.

Wentz is not the ideal option to take the passing attack to the next level, but he does have the potential to help the Commanders improve in that department. The sixth-year quarterback once looked like a potential MVP candidate before tearing his ACL during the 2017 season. Unfortunately, he’s never quite returned to that form.

The Commanders have some intriguing weapons, including Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas. McLaurin has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, but inconsistent quarterback play has capped his ceiling over the years. Perhaps, Wentz can pull the untapped potential out of him.

The jury is still out on Carson Wentz, but he appeared to be the best option of the few available.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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