Are the Texans sold on Davis Mills?

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

There are few questions when it comes to Davis Mills and the Houston Texans.

After his first season as the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans there are questions that need to be answered about Davis Mills going into his second season. The main question seems to be does head coach Lovie Smith, general manager Nick Caserio and the rest of the front office believe in Mills?

Below are questions pertaining to the Texans and Mills being the starter in 2022, and if the decision makers and coaches actually believe in the second-year quarterback.

Is Davis Mills the starter?

Lovie Smith has been somewhat vague about who the Houston Texans’ plan on having under center when training camp starts. Smith has said about Davis Mills:

"“I think we will have a good quarterback for the Houston Texans.”"

Then followed that with talking like the Texans could be in the quarterback market in the 2022 NFL Draft. So the question is, where does he stand on Mills?

Does Mills deserve the chance?

Stanford head coach David Shaw believes that if Mills had gone back to college that he would be the first quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has said that the Texans got a steal in the third round.

So, In short, yes, Mills deserves a chance to be the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans.

From just a physical standpoint; he’s 6’4″ and weighs 225-pounds. Mills is tall with good size, and he has good arms strength, which he showed during the ’21 season. The weaknesses identified at the combine came down to one thing, inexperience. But from an experts point of view here is what was said about Mills before the ’21 NFL Draft:

"“He’s going to be a starter. He was a big-time player coming out, but he just hasn’t been healthy, which is the only reason he never became a bigger name.” — (West Coast scout for AFC team) ."

So it’s not hard to say that the Houston Texans have their quarterback of the future, but why won’t Lovie Smith say it?

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Is competition a bad thing?

Competition is healthy because it can push player to be even better.  It can identify weaknesses that, without pressure of competition, could go unnoticed and keep a player from reaching their full potential. Mills has areas to improve but that goes without saying, but does bringing in high-level competition help or hurt him in year two?

With the different teams in talks with the Houston Texans about Deshaun Watson there is a chance that another quarterback could be brought in.

Baker Mayfield (Browns), Sam Darnold (Panthers), Taysom Hill (Saints) and yes, even Matt Ryan (Falcons). It’s hard to say that any of these quarterbacks brings any real excitement to the fan base, but do they raise any eyebrows among the coaches or front office?

With the mix of youth and experience among the listed quarterbacks, it’s hard to know if any of them would move the needle for or against Mills.

Baker Mayfield brings a mixed bag of success and failure. He also brings some attitude that a rebuilding team may not want. Darnold is also a “Trail Mix” quarterback who has been up-and-down in his career with the Jets and Panthers, and Hill is young-and-inexperienced, similar to Mills.

Then there’s Ryan. At 36-years-old it is hard to see the Texans being overly interested in him in a rebuilding situation, even with his past success as a Super Bowl quarterback and ’16 NFL MVP.

So where does that leave the Houston Texans at quarterback?

The proof will be in the trade

If the Houston Texans want to have competition to push Mills, it will be discovered in the Deshaun Watson trade.

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If the Texans add a quarterback via trade, that may speak to how they feel about Mills. If they reject a quarterback as part of the trade, that will make Mills future very clear. So now, the waiting game begins to see if the Texans actually believe in Mills for the ’22 season.