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Analyzing Lovie Smith’s Recent Comments About Davis Mills

Wherein I attempt to read tea leaves.

Houston Texans v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

New Houston Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith had this to say about likely starting quarterback Davis Mills:

“He’s our quarterback. When you’re the leader, you’ve got to be visible. It’s been documented on what I think of Davis. I think he’s going to be an excellent quarterback in the NFL for a lot of years, but it’s about this year.”

With Nick Caserio’s first pick as the new Houston Texans General Manager in 2021, he selected Stanford quarterback Davis Mills in the third round. Davis Mills was a former five-star recruit out of high school and one of the top prospects in the country.

Mills suffered a torn-ACL his senior year of high school and suffered the same injury one year later as a freshman at Stanford. Eventually Mills won the starting quarterback job his junior year but made only 11 starts throughout his college career. Although Mills was limited at Stanford, there was a lot to like throughout those 11 starts. Mills is an accurate passer that possesses good vision and is a bit better of an athlete than you may have previously thought.

Mills entered his rookie year as the backup to Tyrod Taylor. When Taylor went down in week two against the Cleveland Browns, Mills received his first opportunity to get real in game action. Although there were some positives, it clearly looked like Mills was not ready yet. The early struggles for Mills could’ve been rookie mistakes, extremely poor play calling or a combination of both. Either way, it did not go too well early on.

Tyrod Taylor eventually made his way back into the starting lineup after missing several weeks due to injury but the offense as a whole continued to struggle immensely. Tyrod would eventually get benched during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts in week thirteen. Mills received another opportunity to show what he can do.

After that loss to the Colts in week thirteen, Davis Mills started showing serious progression. For the most part, Mills looked better and better each week. Mills made less mistakes, processed defenses better, was extremely accurate and you can tell his confidence grew as the season went on.

Davis Mills ended the 2021 season on a high note, which left the fans, media and the Houston Texans with something they needed to seriously consider. Can Davis Mills be the next franchise quarterback? The Texans had every opportunity to draft a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft but decided to pass. The Texans also had various opportunities to bring in veteran quarterbacks that were available but decided to pass. That shows the confidence the organization has in Mills.

It is too early to tell if Davis Mills will be the future of the Houston Texans, but as far as the 2022 season goes, the Texans will be going forward with Davis Mills as the starting quarterback. Mills showed serious progress and the Texans believe he will take a positive step forward in 2022. The moves this offseason indicate that the Texans are building around Mills and will be giving him the opportunity to build upon his rookie season and prove that he can be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL.