The Houston Texans have struggled to find a long-term answer at the quarterback position since their inception in 2002. That season the team took David Carr with the first overall selection in hopes of him starting the franchise out on the right foot.
Carr never panned out as he spent most of his time in Houston dodging defenders and getting sacked at a record pace. The next attempt by the team to get a franchise guy came when they traded with the Atlanta Falcons for Matt Schaub.
Schaub was actually better than he gets credit for as he led the team to a few playoff runs and is the all-time passing yardage leader for the franchise with 23,221 yards. Eventually he flamed out and became the pick-six king of the NFL.
After Schaub, the team has used the carousel approach. In 2014 they had Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage and Case Keenum all start games for them. In 2015 the team has flip-flopped like they were a pair of sandals between the underwhelming choices of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.
Hoyer eventually won the job (again) and Mallett was recently cut due to being what Bill O’Brien already knew him to be, immature and irresponsible.
With the issues at the position it’s no shock that the Texans take a quarterback in the latest edition of the 2016 FanSided mock draft.
"So the Texans have to be thinking quarterback, so much so that they might reach for a quarterback. Enter Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, a quarterback with the height and size to be an NFL quarterback, not one that excites like Andrew Luck coming out of Stanford.Why would the Texans reach for Hackenberg and pass up someone like Cal’s Jared Goff? The Penn State connection. Bill O’Brien came to Houston from Penn State and there is a comfort and familiarity there that doesn’t necessarily exist elsewhere."
The article goes on to say that this pick is dependent on O’Brien not being fired, which looks like a real possibility given that there are reports the owner will have to choose between the coach and general manager Rick Smith. And let’s be honest, if Smith hasn’t been fired for his litany of awful draft picks, he may never be fired in Houston.
I would have to say however that if O’Brien hasn’t learned by now to quit going after players simply due to familiarity (see Hoyer, Mallett) then maybe he shouldn’t have any say so in this process.
Hackenberg put together a good freshman season under O’Brien at Penn State, but since that season he has been up and down. His 2014 season was one to forget where he tallied 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
This season he seems to be rounding back into form, but is still only completing 51.9 percent of his passes. The low completion total is eerily similar to what both Mallett and Hoyer have provided in their careers which gives me pause to approve of this selection.
With a player like Jared Goff still on the board, taking the lesser prospect in Hackenberg would be yet another blunder in draft selections by the Texans.
However, looking at the fact that they passed up quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo, I would say blunders are somewhat expected as long as the guys selecting the roster stay the same.