The Houston Texans could soon be looking at rookie quarterback Davis Mills as a starter, and veteran QB Tyrod Taylor is a perfect mentor.
Amid all the drama and headaches the Houston Texans have endured this season, one potentially good storyline that could play itself out this season is the maturation of rookie quarterback Davis Mills, Houston’s third-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft out of Stanford.
Mills, 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds, has a strong pedigree and rose swiftly leading up to the draft from a probably late day-three pick into a Round 3 selection, according to many a big board.
With disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson possibly never playing another game in a Texans uniform again, the thought of turning towards the future is a must for first-year head coach David Culley and Co.
Mills has a long road ahead of him. Houston is widely viewed to be the league’s worst team entering 2021, likely to finish with the worst record and poised to receive the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft.
Whether or not Mills winds up being a long-term part of the solution is yet to be determined. But if there’s one player the rookie can turn to for help, it’s veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Texans can have Tyrod Taylor be a perfect mentor for Davis Mills
Houston is fully expecting Taylor to be its starting quarterback to kick off the season. Taylor, who’ll turn 32 years old before the start of the regular season, has gone through his fair share of team rebuilds as both a full-time starter, backup and even journeyman stopgap.
Simply put, he’s seen a lot. He has the knack for overcoming adversity and making the best of situations, including last year with the Los Angeles Chargers when he dealt with a lung injury that ultimately led to then-rookie quarterback Justin Herbert taking over.
Mentoring Herbert early on in 2020 was just the latest example. In 2018, Taylor was responsible for helping get the Cleveland Browns’ top draft pick, quarterback Baker Mayfield, up to par.
Now, it’s time for Taylor to help mentor Mills.
“His leadership and his experience in the league is invaluable,” Culley told reporters this week of Taylor’s leadership. “It’s invaluable for not only just those guys at the quarterback position, but just for the guys on this football team in general. He knows what winning’s supposed to be like.”
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Mills would be wise to listen up, too. While Taylor isn’t exactly considered in the category of the league’s elite, often those kinds of signal-callers who may not necessarily possess the top level of traits find other ways to stay relevant, hang around and remain on rosters.
Simply put, they have to work harder at their craft. Especially once they get on the wrong side of 30 years old.
That kind of experience, especially for a rookie quarterback like Mills who doesn’t possess the first-round pedigree of others, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence or the New York Jets’ Zach Wilson, might need to learn specifically how a player like Taylor has been able to keep himself embedded on NFL rosters on a yearly basis.
Those attributes can be just as valuable as raw talent, and Mills has a good deal of that, too.
Yet the rookie will need to turn to someone like Taylor to make sure he makes the most of his early yet challenging opportunity.