Pro Football Focus recently put out their pre-pre-season 2022 Power Rankings. They broke the NFL down into a list of five categories: True Contenders, Could Be Their Year, Eyes on the Playoffs, Stuck in Limbo and Rebuilding.
28. HOUSTON TEXANS
The Texans were able to finally start their rebuild by trading away Deshaun Watson for a huge haul of draft picks. That move happened too late in the day for them to be big players in free agency, so the project really started in the draft. Davis Mills flashed some surprisingly good play as a rookie, and he’ll get, at least, another season to show he can be a future starter, but this project has really only just begun.
Davis Mills will certainly be a polarizing x-factor this season. Some are assured he will fail, others convinced he’s the best young quarterback of the last two drafts. While he certainly lacks the early hype given to former Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson, he also lacks the utterly disgusting accusations that came out in Watson’s latest civil suit.
Davis Mills is the Keystone for Rebuilding Houston Texans
In 2021, PFF had Mills ranked 26th in pass attempts, 26th in passing yards, 16th in touchdowns and 10th in interceptions. This all came together to give the rookie’s first season an overall grade of 58.5, with a 59.0 passing mark and 48.4 in the rushing category.
Now, who’s to know and who’s to say, but it’s easy to believe a rookie Tom Brady would have struggled on a David Culley led Houston team with Tim Kelly calling the plays, a barely functioning offensive line and no run game to speak of... thankfully all that’s changed for 2022.
Is it possible that Texans QB Davis Mills is in a better position to succeed than Patriots QB Mac Jones is?— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) June 7, 2022
Tune in with @tmilrealdeal right now on The Best of Today to hear the discussion between @ClintStoerner & @RealRonTheShow.
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That’s certainly not to say Mills is a hall of fame career in progress, but it’s certainly enough in the x-factor column to give him a pass for not lighting the world on fire last year.
In 2022, Mills will have a much improved offensive line, seemingly better running back corps, vastly improved offensive scheme, a year under his belt with Brandin Cooks and sophomore receiver Nico Collins and an utter lack of the rookie jitters. Once John Metchie III can join in, the threat of Houston’s passing game should keep opposing defenses on their heals.
On the flip side, rival defensive coordinators will have enough game film on Mills to know how to shake him. Can Hamilton continue to help Mills improve and overcome? Only time will tell.
If you have a few minutes, check out this article by the ever-excellent Jim Trotter on NFL.com:
Davis Mills made the most of his opportunity at quarterback in 2021. Can he lift the Texans again this season? @JimTrotter_NFL examines Houston's bold bet on continued improvement from the former third-rounder.https://t.co/EBqjxdD4JR pic.twitter.com/5JEYHqam8N— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 3, 2022
Many current mock drafts have the Texans drafting #1 in 2023. If that prediction becomes reality, a lot of it will likely fall at the feet of Mills. But, maybe the second year signal caller balls out and Houston’s rebuild takes a giant leap forward in 2022.