The Houston Texans are without a franchise quarterback and despite a successful 9-7 first season under head coach, Bill O’Brien, they need someone under center A.S.A.P. Marcus Mariota is one of two quarterbacks entering the draft that experts are willing to start in the NFL immediately. In a league that is bleeding for all or nothing quarterbacks, teams are desperate to find passers who can make a difference earlier rather than later in their career.
That begs the question then, why not make a move for Marcus Mariota?
The Houston front office is known for saying no to new prospects, regardless of talent level, if they don’t like their character or off the field problems. I.e. University of Texas quarterback Vince Young and USC running back Reggie Bush in 2006. This makes Mariota the obvious candidate over Florida State signal caller, Jameis Winston.
Some guys just have a knack for choosing great quarterbacks. Chip Kelly selected Mariota over Bryan Bennett as the Oregon Ducks starting quarterback in 2012. The Colts organization are obviously an example of this, going from a stellar Peyton Manning career to selecting Andrew Luck as the capable successor. Belichik and the Patriots front office placed their faith in Drew Bledsoe for 8 years and it paid off greatly, transforming the team into a consistent AFC contender and then immediately moved on to the infamous Tom Brady.
There are teams that have a long history with mitigating franchise quarterback success and then there’s everyone else, who has to patiently groom young, promising talent into prominent decision-making generals on the field.
The Houston Texans fall into this category.
More than just the fear of giving up several decent picks in the draft for one big, risky one, Houston would have to part ways with their philosophy of grooming young talent behind the scenes with Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage. That is the main reason you can count on the Texans not pursuing any major moves up the draft order, despite desperately needing a franchise quarterback.
That being said, it’s safe to bust out your Ryan Mallett jerseys at your draft parties, this year.