This week’s Groupthink comes after another mediocre performance by Davis Mills, but more importantly a surprise Lions win over the Green Bay Packers. The Lions notch their second win of the season, but it puts them behind the one-win Texans in the tank-off for the first spot in the NFL Draft.
If the Texans do secure the first overall pick, they’d be ill-advised for not taking one of two top QBs in Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. However, the lack of talent could stymie any growth or potential a young QB offers. Which brings us to our Groupthink of the week:
The Houston Texans currently hold the first pick in the draft due to the Lions victory over the Packers. Would you rather the Texans take a QB with the first pick or play another year of Mills ball and take the best positional player in the draft?
I think you have to take a quarterback. Somehow, this team has had two number one overall picks (not counting the expansion season) and managed to take defensive players both times. Mario Williams was certainly a good player and J.D. Clowney was too, but you have to wonder how the franchise would look if they took a quarterback in either draft. Simply put, this team is not going anywhere until they get a quarterback. I respect the opinion that you build a team first or that maybe there are better quarterbacks in the 2024 draft, but I think you can always say that and you’ll always have an excuse not to take one. This team likely won’t be in this position again if history is any guide. Strike while the iron is hot and get your pick of the litter between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. I think you CAN win a Super Bowl without a franchise quarterback, but having one makes that path a whole lot easier. This is the Texans best opportunity to fill that hole.
QB is the single most important position in football, and it’s not close. The Davis Mills Experiment was a massive failure from the start. If the Texans don’t take a QB with one of their 1st round picks in 2023, it’s because they have no interest in building a winning football team.
Take the quarterback. It’s simple. Why delay the single most important piece of a rebuild when you have the chance to address it. I don’t care that this roster is terrible and the quarterback will have next to no help the reason you draft a quarterback is to turn a franchise around, you don’t draft a defensive end to turn it around. Take a damn quarterback.
I will be the contrarian and say we shouldn’t bother with a quarterback next year. I don’t say this as a Davis Mills supporter, I say this as a Houston Texans fan. The quarterback position is one of the most difficult to draft, to find that franchise quarterback, or, Durga love you, that HOFer. And because it’s so difficult to land and there so much draft capital and large contracts connected to them.
We should wait until we have something more closely resembling a coherent team. I’m not saying wait until the team is fully built out because by that point the window is infinitesimally small. But we don’t have a good defense, we don’t have a good offense. We have good starting components on both sides of the ball, but not enough to even threaten a playoff appearance, let alone a Super Bowl run. If you go after that big time QB now and miss; that’s time wasted where we could have kept a backup-caliber QB on the field, that’s draft capital that could’ve been used on a, for lack of a better word, lower-leverage position with a higher immediate upside.
Again, I’m not against the Texans using a high draft pick on a QB, just maybe don’t do it this year?
I personally am not enamored by the two top prospects. Bryce Young is a Russel Wilson-esque guy, which knowing how Wilson turned out I would be fine taking first overall. However, the Texans have so many needs that it’s not time for them to spend the top asset on a QB. I don’t even think Will Anderson is having a phenomenal season either, but dropping a first overall pick on a QB because it’s your turn to do so just seems wasteful. Yes, the Texans have two first round picks this year and have the flexibility to take a QB AND a premier positional player, but there’s so many other needs this team possesses that the first overall pick should be used elsewhere.
For instance, this offensive line has made strides, but gawd dayum we could use a new left tackle. If anything, trade back and stock up on an already fairly loaded draft with tons of seconds and thirds. Heck, push the process along and add picks in future drafts. Anything to equip this team with talent over a five year period.
I know we want to start the new cycle over, but it’s pointless if we simply take the best QB at the time with which we have the first pick. We’re going to be bad for a while, let’s make sure we do this right.
A big reason why the Texans didn’t go for a QB in 2022 was that last year’s class of QB prospects wasn’t that great. Only one 1st round QB (Pickett) drafted, and he went at 20. With the 2023 class on the horizon, the crop of top tier QB prospects is far superior to last season, and barring some major turnaround with the play of the Texans, Houston should have at least one of those picks in the Top 5, if not the Top 3.
We are not as patient with QBs now as opposed to the past. Yet, Mills is not really showing he is anything more than a solid back-up. With two 1st round picks, the Texans can go for the QB and then find another quality prospect for other positions (DL/LB/WR immediately come to mind). Besides, unless you think that Will Anderson out of Alabama is the next Lawrence Taylor, not sure there is anyone else aside from a QB that is worthy of #1 consideration at this point. So, if the Texans hold on to the #1 spot, get ready to engage in that classic Texans’ fans pastime: Talking up the next “Franchise” QB.