In case of a trade up: Paxton Lynch, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz
Somehow I don’t think the Texans are going to move into the top 10 to get any of these guys. But if they do give up three first rounders and likely another player or pick, let’s look at what might be coming the other way.
Lynch was the starter at Memphis for three years. He’s a tall quarterback, who will remind some of Brock Osweiler. We saw some good things from Osweiler this season in Denver, but Lynch is raw. For a team that needs a guy to come in and play immediately, I don’t think he’s the right guy for Houston. He’s got a strong arm but one thing stuck out to me about him–like a lot of really tall quarterbacks his windup takes a long time. His accuracy really isn’t terrible but he makes a lot of throws downfield that aren’t very difficult–guys are wide open. He also isn’t under pressure that often. He certainly needs some time to develop, and he looks like a real boom or bust prospect to me. I think he’s best off to go to a team that can sit him for a year or two before having him start.
Goff is next in a line of good California Golden Bear quarterbacks. The most famous being Aaron Rodgers. There have been a lot of varying reports on Goff, most specifically on his arm. Though he played in a pro-style offense at Cal there are a lot of questions about his arm strength despite the fact he increased his touchdown total every year in college. But he’s unbelievably accurate, even with pressure in his face. You don’t need a huge arm to be a great quarterback if you are accurate and smart. He is both. He also has very good mobility in the pocket as well. He could be a franchise quarterback, but the cost to get him will be steep. If there were a guy I would move on though, it would be him.
Wentz was the signal caller for North Dakota State for two of their five straight FCS championships. He is seen as having the best arm strength of the big three, and is now thought of by many to be the first quarterback selected, perhaps to the Browns at #2. His junior year he threw for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns to ten interceptions. He completed 63.7% of his passes as well. His senior year he broke his wrist but came back and won another national title. I figure he will go off the board early due to his prototypical size and arm. He also is more mobile than you would think for a guy who is six-five. However the fact he played in the FCS and might hurt him. He also rarely seemed to be under pressure when making his throws as you will see here. I get a Blaine Gabbert kind of vibe from him–guy who looks the part, has a good arm and is mobile and shoots up the boards late due to Senior Bowl and other offseason activities. Not saying he’ll end up like Gabbert, but I think the Texans should not even consider trying to trade up for him.
On a separate note, the AFC South has quarterbacks picked with each of the top three overall picks outside of Houston. Luck was picked #1 overall, Marcus Mariota #2 overall and Blake Bortles #3 overall. Wouldn’t it be something if Houston traded up with the Cowboys for the #4 overall pick and got their quarterback? Personally I don’t think I’d be in favor that move, but Dallas might be willing to trade out of their fourth overall pick. It’s not like they’re terrible, and they still have Tony Romo for now. They could be targeting his long term replacement with the fourth pick, but if not a deal isn’t impossible.
The thing is, of the top ten picks, at least seven of them know who their quarterback will be next season (likely eight unless Adam Gase wants to replace Ryan Tannehill in Miami). So maybe if Houston wanted to jump up and take a quarterback, they wouldn’t have to jump into the top five. So for me, I’d go for Hackenberg or Brissett somewhere in rounds 2-4 if I were calling the shots.