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NFL Draft

3 QBs Texans Should Sign This Week

  • The Draft Network
  • October 4, 2021
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For a new-look Houston Texans football team, headlined by the uncertainty of the quarterback position, building the right culture with players who fight to keep them competitive on a weekly basis is of the utmost importance.

The Texans were largely considered the worst team in the league in July and August. That negative outlook didn’t initially carry over into the season the way many expected it to. Houston actually won their first game of the new campaign by an impressive 16-point margin. David Culley’s men continued to punch above their weight class in Weeks 2 and 3, competing for large stretches in what wound up being back-to-back losses to two good football teams (Cleveland and Carolina). But that wasn't the case on Sunday when Houston, unfortunately, lived down to everyone's initial expectations. They were beaten to the tune of 40-0 by the much superior Buffalo Bills.

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills earned the start again as Tyrod Taylor continues to nurse an injury. The third-round pick out of Stanford is clearly not ready for life in the NFL. He was woeful against Buffalo, completing just 11-of-21 passes for 87 yards and four interceptions.

The Texans are doing a disservice to Mills and their fan base by starting the rookie. For however much longer Taylor is on the mend, Houston must find a "Plan B" at starting quarterback, one that doesn't involve trotting out Mills for another game until he gets more practice reps under his belt and shows the ability to read an NFL defense.

Houston needs to employ another quarterback starting immediately, but shouldn’t give up future draft assets in order to do so. This list will explore realistic options that could serve as a stopgap option until Taylor is ready to return from injury. Here are three candidates that come to mind.

TRACE MCSORELY, BALTIMORE RAVENS

A former sixth-round pick out of Penn State, McSorely is currently taking up a spot on Baltimore’s practice squad. The Texans could add him to their quarterback room by simply offering him a spot on their 53-man roster.

What makes McSorely intriguing is his familiarity with Culley and his offense. Culley served as Baltimore’s assistant head coach and passing game coordinator when the Ravens drafted McSorely in 2019. If Houston is going to bring in a quarterback, it would ideally be one that could pick up the offense in a hurry. McSorely could do that for them.

BLAKE BORTLES, FREE AGENT

Would they consider it? The infamous Bortles spent the first five years of his up-and-down NFL career as a member of Houston’s AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Bortles spent the 2020 season splitting his time between the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams before catching on with the Green Bay Packers during the 2021 offseason. Bortles was ultimately released before the preseason began. Still just 29 years of age and waiting for the right opportunity to reveal itself, that moment could be making its presence known in Houston as we speak.

Say what you will about Bortles, but he would undoubtedly offer this Houston team more than Mills currently does. Bortles is plenty familiar with the three common divisional opponents and could keep Houston’s head above water.

MATT BARKLEY, FREE AGENT

Looking through the list of free-agent quarterbacks is a grim exercise, but Barkley does stick out as a serviceable option. The 31-year-old former USC standout actually put together a strong 2021 preseason as a member of the Tennessee Titans. In three exhibition games, Barkley completed a respectable 24-of-39 passes for 295 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Barkley made a strong case to make Tennessee’s final roster, but the Titans decided to stick with long-term backup Logan Woodside instead due to his experience running their offense.

The Texans would have surely combed through plenty of Titans preseason film and should have been impressed with what they saw from Barkley. Now needing a quarterback to get them through these next few weeks in the worst way, general manager Nick Caserio should get on the phone with Barkley as soon as possible.

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