Most of the current mock drafts have your Houston Texans either selecting Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young with the #2 overall pick, or trading with the Chicago Bears to land Young at #1 overall.
There is a realistic chance the Bears could trade the #1 pick to a quarterback needy team, such as the Indianapolis Colts or Las Vegas Raiders. If that happens, and one of those teams calls Young’s name with the top pick, Houston general manager Nick Caserio will need pull a different rabbit out of his hat. Otherwise, new Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik will have to make do with Davis Mills... and no one wants to see that.
There is also a real possibility the Texans sign free agent quarterback Derek Carr, who was released by the Raiders yesterday. But, for the sake of this post, let’s assume Carr goes elsewhere and DeMeco Ryans wants a fresh young talent to be the face of his franchise.
The Houston Texans Select Bryce Young, quarterback, Alabama
Unlike most Alabama quarterbacks in the Nick Saban era, Young doesn’t have a national championship as a starter, but make no mistake, he’s still one of the greatest signal-callers in Crimson Tide history. In 2021, Young’s first season as a starter, he became the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. He followed that up with a 91.3 passing grade this year, which was tied for the highest in the country. Despite his small stature, Young is every bit of a potential franchise quarterback.
Young’s NFL comparison: Deshaun Watson
Young has that creative mindset that we’re seeing take over the NFL at quarterback. He’s good in structure, but when Young breaks the pocket, he’s capable of special plays.
While Young’s size is a definite knock, the 6’0” 194 pounds junior has the X-factor so many teams look for in a franchise quarterback. While no rookie QB is a sure thing, Young certainly has all the potential to be that and more.
Off-the-charts playmaking ability. Has uncoachable subtle pocket movements and creativity throwing receivers open.
Unphased under pressure.
Whippy throwing motion that has much more zip from all platforms than you’d expect.
Size, size, size, size. Have you heard he’s small?
Sits deep in pocket, presumably for sightlines. Makes life harder on NFL tackles
Suffered a shoulder injury this past fall. Missed a game and a half.
“@_Bryce_Young is so good. I knows he not big (but) he’s Steph Curry.”— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 14, 2023
It’s early but started talking #NFLDraft with @danorlovsky7 today and to say he’s sold on the #RollTide 2021 Heisman Trophy winner would be an understatement: pic.twitter.com/3Isp9ojLHQ
The Houston Texans Select Will Levis, quarterback, Kentucky
Levis is arguably the most polarizing prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Depending on who you ask, he ranges anywhere from a top-three pick to one who should fall out of the first round. We tend to side with the former. His 65.8 passing grade this season doesn’t paint a pretty picture, but it also doesn’t paint the whole picture. The support he received at Kentucky was among the worst in the country, and he has some of the best tools in this entire class. Levis is certainly a projection, but that’s the name of the game in the NFL Draft business.
For Houston to start winning now, Levis may not be the guy. If Caserio, Ryans and Slowik think 2023 is a development year, then maybe Levis is the guy. he certainly seems to have upside that a quality QB whisper can build on.
Flamethrower arm strength. Has claimed he can throw it 80 yards, and I believe it.
Unwavering under pressure. Delivers strikes in tight pockets.
Weapon on QB sneaks! Converted 22-of-23 short yardage sneaks in career.
However, that development means he likely won’t be doing great things in 2023.
Short-arm release makes touch throws inconsistent.
Not much throw shaping on his tape. Spotty ball placement. Good for a duck or two per game.
Feet are terribly inconsistent. Does not throw from a consistent base.
For all that, Davis Mills might be a better gamble.
Spent a WHOLE weekend w/Kentucky QB Will Levis...broke down two games - every drop back, every throw at https://t.co/71nqKMKf1r. Take a read, but it'll take a while!— John Harris (@jharrisfootball) February 14, 2023
Will Levis vs. - Georgia - https://t.co/ZyviZwfGoD
Will Levis vs. - Mississippi State - https://t.co/drhGFIhvVR
The Houston Texans Select C.J. Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State
Stroud is going to be a fascinating case study as to how much a supporting cast elevates a quarterback. Over his two seasons as a starter, he had the pleasure of throwing to Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka - arguably five first-round receivers. Still, Stroud’s 26.7% rate of perfectly-placed passes leads all FBS quarterbacks since 2021. His job in the NFL will undoubtedly get harder, but he has NFL-ready tools as a passer.
There are definitely those out there who put Stroud in the #1 spot for this year’s draft. And, there really won’t be a way to know who is right and who is wrong until sometime next fall at the earliest.
Accurate to every level of the football field.
Feathery touch. Does a beautiful job layering balls over the middle of the field.
Quick processor from the pocket with anticipation throws littered all over his tape.
Performance under pressure was rough this season.
Arm talent is nothing special, and it suffers when he’s on the move.
Escapability in the pocket is a concern. Doesn’t always feel the rush well.
CJ Stroud’s accuracy is something ELSE— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) February 7, 2023
The Ohio State QB is currently in California prepping for the NFL Combine. pic.twitter.com/QnY1rq5909
If the Texans stay the current projected course and grab quarterback with their first pick, who do you want them to select?