There have been a lot of rumors about the Houston Texans passing on a quarterback at number two. Specifically, if their guy (rumored to be Bryce Young) is not there. If that were to happen, many people believe the Texans would draft a defensive lineman, presumably Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama instead.
Doing so would only affirm to me the rumors about Nick Caserio possibly being on his way out of Houston. This draft would then be about building an identity in the image and likeness that DeMeco Ryans desires.
What I believe the Texans could do, and it would be very exciting, would be to draft Will Anderson at number two and draft University of Texas longhorn Bijan Robinson at number 12.
We recently wrote about the potential of a two-headed backfield of Robinson and Pierce already, so if you want more thoughts on that, go check that out. I don't believe this idea is too far-fetched if we look at where Ryans is coming from. The identity is simple, play smart tough football with a suffocating defense and have an offense that can control the clock and not turn the ball over.
That identity, I believe, would be rooted in the same one he came from during his playing days with the Houston Texans as well as coaching days in San Francisco with the 49ers. Specifically, he's come from a Shanahan-type offense on the opposite side of the ball from him that valued the running game to set up the pass and emphasized a strong defense. Drafting Anderson and Robinson affirms that identity.
At their peak, the Houston Texans had the bulls on parade and Arian Foster. Sure, the Texans also had the likes of future Hall of Famer Andre Johnson, but the offense was built around the zone scheme rushing attack.
However, that Texans team's offense derailed once Foster was injured at a game against the Miami Dolphins. Similarly, the 49ers' offense for the first three years in the Shanahan era there were plagued by constant injuries to their running backs. However, since they traded for all-world running back Christian McCaffrey, they were 13-1 last season, including playoffs. That's a big difference. That's what having an elite running back does, which Robinson is presumed to be.
Adding an elite running back to the current beast that is Dameon Pierce also adds insurance to that identity, as he and Robinson can find some split that keeps them healthy.
I know many people want the Texans to draft a quarterback because they need one, but if they aren't sold on a quarterback at two, getting arguably the #1 prospect in this year's draft followed up by Draft Networks' #3 rated player in Robinson is a great start to Ryan's tenure. The Texans aren't a quarterback away. They need an identity and blue-chip talent, and this mock draft does just that.