Value of Things: Should the Texans Take Two Quarterbacks?
Both Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans have said the same thing about quarterbacks. They keep telling us they only have one quarterback in the QB room and they both refuse to give his name. The jokes are told at this point. Some have suggested that Davis Mills wear a t-shirt that reads, “Hey, Nick and DeMeco: say my name!” The more serious implication is that Mills isn’t really in the team’s plans to move forward. He could stay as the third quarterback.
This means that both the starter job and the backup job are up for grabs. The veteran QB market seems like an easy enough fallback option, but what would happen if the Houston Texans picked two quarterbacks in the draft? It’s been done before. The Washington soccer team famously drafted Kirk Cousins in the same design as Robert Griffin III. They were thankful for that.
Other teams have done it too. If the goal is to find someone with more potential than Mills, then it really shouldn’t be that difficult. Before we get to the potential backups, however, let’s look at the quarterback list after the combine and look at their NFL.com grades, PFF scores, and quarterback ratings for their college careers.
The four best boys
Bryce Young – 91.5 PFF, 6.82 NFL.com165.0 qbr
Not much changed for Young as he only sat and was measured for interviews. He was a shade over 5ft 10in and weighed 204lbs. Going beyond the drama’s stupidity, we can historically compare it to Kyler Murray (NFL.com 6.80) and Deshaun Watson (NFL.com 6.80). What matters is the distance between him and the second-best quarterback. Trading might be a good idea.
CJ Stroud – 84.1 PFF, 6.46 NFL.com182.4QBR
The good news is that guys like Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes got similar grades when they went through the combine. There is a noticeable drop from Young to Stroud, however, and from here there isn’t much of a split. The guy produced the best QBR of any prospect in the draft, so if college production is important to you, then he’s your guy. If qualities are important to you, then maybe not so much.
Anthony Richardson – 79.8 PFF, 6.35 NFL.com133.6 QBR
A come out college quarterback had a lower QBR. Vertical jumps and standing long jumps are nice. 4.43 speed is really nice for a guy his size. His 60 MPH fastball is second best in history. I’m just not sure how all of this applies in a real football environment. When was the last time you saw a standing QB jump? Are we perfecting some kind of jump pass? The histrionics just seem silly at this point.
Will Levis – 68.6 PFF, 6.30 NFL.com145.6QBR
In the movie Moneyball, Billy Beane asks one of the scouts why a hitter doesn’t hit. The scout made a mumbo-jumbo about it if you gave that guy 500 hits he would produce. Secure. This is Will Levis. Everyone says he’s the most talented quarterback in the draft in terms of arm talent, but that has to translate into something in the end. Maybe one day it will. We just haven’t seen it yet.
Possible selections on the third day
Hendon Hooker – 90.8 PFF, 6.23 NFL.com172.2QBR
Hooker could go as early as the second round or as late as the fourth round. As of today, the Texans have several third-round picks. Picking Hooker with the later pick could be an interesting move. He probably won’t be healthy early in the season, but that’s more of a long-term gamble, and Hooker definitely looks better than Mills.
Stetson Bennett – 90.1 PFF, 6.00 NFL.com160.7QBR
Here we have to be honest. There’s way too much talk about boys being winners. Yes, he has won two championship games. We know defense has a lot more to do with it than him or offense. Still, the numbers are pretty good, and if you throw a pick his way in the fourth or fifth round, you could get a good reinforcement.
Jaren Hall – 86.3 PFF, 5.90 NFL.com158.2QBR
Okay, we’ve seen BYU quarterbacks fail before, so maybe people here might be gun-shy. However, we are not talking about the Mormon Mahomes here. We’re looking at a pretty good double threat quarterback. It makes a lot of sense to have another weapon on the sidelines for certain bundles. Taysom Hill certainly makes a killing in New Orleans with limited actual passing skills.
Dorian Thompson Robinson – 74.8 PFF, 5.80 NFL.com145.6QBR
Again, this is more about application than a generic long-term prognosis. Mills had a better grade from Stanford, but he really isn’t a threat in the ongoing game. He was a five-year starter at UCLA and while the numbers aren’t great, he could be a double threat option to spell the first-round quarterback.
Max Duggan – 83.0 PFF, 5.82 NFL.com141.4 QBR
I will always have a soft spot for Max. Every year, the Horned Frog believers at TCU hoped that someone better would come along. Every year he beat the other guys for the job. He’s similarly limited to the likes of Case Keenum, but he has some athleticism and came second in the Heisman poll. He should probably fall at least in the fifth or sixth round, so you could get him with one of your last picks.