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Malik Willis Could Become The Texans’ Next Franchise Quarterback

1-6, with eyes on a number one pick.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Liberty at UAB Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Houston Texans are 1-5 heading into a Week Seven matchup with the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. As the Texans continue to struggle, they will be looking at a top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

While the Texans already have Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills at quarterback, these options may only be temporary. Taylor is a free agent next year, and there’s a decent chance that he won’t come back. Mills is a rookie, and although he’s shown some promise in his first few starts, he might be purely a depth piece. Considering Houston selected Mills out of desperation in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, it also might not hurt to trade Mills while he’s still young.

Speaking of trades, the Texans can easily get at least one first round pick in the upcoming draft if they move on from Deshaun Watson, and that pick wouldn’t be based on Houston’s record. Assuming that happens, it would give the Texans more leeway if needed to move up a few spots, which usually occurs when a team really likes a specific player.

Who could this player be, you ask? There will be a few options, but one really stands out above the rest as I type this in mid October: Malik Willis. Currently, he’s one of the top quarterbacks for 2022. Things could always change, but he’s certainly someone who could fix a lot of Houston’s problems.

Willis originally signed with Auburn but transferred in 2019 after the Tigers named Bo Nix their starting quarterback. Willis ended up at Liberty University, a FCS school in Virginia. Since 2020, Willis has made a name for himself as a dual-threat signal-caller. Willis’ talents were recently on display when Liberty played UAB (University of Alabama-Birmingham). He threw for 287 yards and a touchdown on just 13 completions while also rushing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. If the Texans are able to land Willis, they could find themselves with someone comparable to Lamar Jackson.

Since Willis is facing FCS lower FBS-level competition, he’s likely not going to be incredible right off the bat. It might seem stupid to have two developing quarterbacks on the same roster (assuming Mills stays around), but he is one of those players that’s drafted based on pure talent and potential. Taking Mills was arguably more of a gamble than drafting Willis would be, since Mills’ playing time in college was more limited. Even if Taylor were to re-sign with Houston, putting Willis in a backup role until he’s deemed ready to start would make sense as well.

While Houston obviously needs more than just a quarterback to be good again, it’s still a key piece of the rebuilding process. As mentioned earlier, Mills might not be a lost cause, but most fans aren’t sold on him yet. The picture will become more clear as the season goes on. Making assumptions like Willis-to-Houston aren’t wild for a team and fan base looking to improve.