How would a rookie David Carr fare on the 2021 Houston Texans? We will never know. However, we will get a front row seat to just how veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Davis Mills will do. Taylor, the 11-year vet, is on his fourth team, having played previously with the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns. In that span, Taylor has started 47 games, completed 855 of 1,392 pass attempts for a 61.4% average and thrown for 9,770 yards. He’s tossed 54 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and currently owns a passer rating of 89.5. Oh, and he earned a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with the Ravens. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that over Tom Savage any day.
David Culley (on Taylor):
It’s invaluable for not only just those guys at the quarterback position, but just for the guys on this football team in general. [Tyrod]’s been there and done that and he knows what winning looks like. He knows what winning’s supposed to be like.
While some believe Taylor was brought in as a backstop against the unknown future of Deshaun Watson, that purpose may have shifted to the development of Houston’s first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Davis Mills.
If there’s something that I can share with the younger guy, younger quarterback, younger whatever position it is, then I share it. You have to, each and every day, bring your ‘A game’ and your best self to the building and go out there and lead by example, and everything else will fall in line how it’s supposed to.
When it comes to the aforementioned Mills, the Texans are finally showing their hand in why they brought him in.
Matt Bazirgan - Houston Texans Assistant Director of Player Personnel:
Davis Mills’ pro day, it was a steady rain that day. Davis showed a lot of composure, threw the ball pretty well. He’s a very natural thrower. He handled the elements well that day as far as his accuracy and putting the ball on his receivers pretty well.
“Pretty well” isn’t the sort of glowing review you want to hear about a team’s first pick, but when that pick is in the third round, where starting quality quarterbacks are very rarely found, you take what you can get.
[Davis] played for a good program, played for a really good coach in Coach Shaw, who’s had a really good offense. Good size, fairly accurate thrower, gets rid of the ball fairly quickly. Real smart. So, when you look at the attributes that go into playing the quarterback position, we felt that he had a lot of those qualities.
If the Texans are to have any success this season, it will rest in large part on Taylor and Mills. Several pundits believe Taylor will start the season under center but will eventually give way to Mills after the first month or two. If Houston is to really take stock of the future, they need to make sure Mills gets a good look this season. While there may (or may not) be a method to Caserio’s ‘sign a hundred veterans’ battle plan, allowing them to crowd out the younger players in 2021 would be a crime.
Mills has a lot of potential and does “pretty well”, but he also has his share of flaws and perhaps a lack of polish needed to succeed at the NFL level. He can only go so far sitting on the bench and watching Tyrod Taylor manage a lost season. Mills could be the next Russell Wilson, or maybe the next Colt McCoy...or the next Will Grier. We’ll never know if he doesn’t get on the field.
Thankfully, conventional logic would dictate Nick Caserio didn’t spend his very first draft pick as an NFL general manager on a clipboard holder. He has to have seen something in Mills he envisions will result in wins on the gridiron.
Taylor or Mills? Mills or Taylor? Who would you rather see leading the Texans in 2021?