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Home Uncategorized Questions at QB: Hunter Atkins discusses the Houston Texans options under center

Questions at QB: Hunter Atkins discusses the Houston Texans options under center

Hunter Atkins knows that the signal-caller gets all the spotlight.

The veteran sports reporter has been in the business long enough to understand that quarterbacks are the marquee draws. For the past two seasons, the position has been shrouded in lingering questions. With the long-anticipated trade of Deshaun Watson finally reaching a resolution, fans of the Houston Texans are starting to get answers.

Yet this trade actually punctuated a more pressing question: Who will be under center for the Houston Texans in 2022?

Last season, rookie Davis Mills was thrust into action. Although he probably performed well enough to get another crack at it this season, that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

Most experts view this year’s draft class as devoid of elite talent. With this in mind, Hunter Atkins throws out three other possible paths the Houston Texans may pursue in finding their next quarterback.

In-house

It’s more than likely that the team’s Week 1 starter is already on the roster. And it’s not backup journeyman Jeff Driskel.

As mentioned previously, Davis Mills seems to have the inside track for snaps. Considered incredibly raw coming out of Stanford, the third-round draft pick didn’t get much opportunity to shine. The Texans’ offense was predictably bad in 2021, finishing near the bottom of the league in virtually every statistical category. But Hunter Atkins believes there’s a reason for optimism.

Over his last five starts, the 23-year-old sported a 102.4 passer rating, along with 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Davis Mills’ growth will hinge on the Texans providing an improved supporting cast around him, particularly at running back.

Via free agency

If the Houston Texans want to bring in some competition via free agency, they might have to lower their expectations.

Established quarterbacks don’t hit free agency very often, and this year has been no exception. After letting Tyrod Taylor go, the franchise elected to bring in Kyle Allen on a one-year deal. Although Kyle Allen has made some starters for both the Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers, it’s unrealistic to expect he’ll be more than a competent backup. And most of the higher-upside guys have already signed elsewhere. Hunter Atkins sees most of the remaining free agents, like Cam Newton or Ryan Fitzpatrick, as bridge starters at best.

On the trade block

Trades involving quarterbacks have been all the rage this off-season. In addition to Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson also changed teams. The Texans could flip some of their newly-acquired draft capital and attempt to make more headlines.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield are speculated to be the next dominoes to fall. While consistent, Jimmy Garoppolo has likely reached his ceiling at this stage in his career. And the Texans could’ve potentially already had their shot at Baker Mayfield. If the team wanted the Cleveland Browns’ gunslinger, he could’ve been thrown into the Deshaun Watson deal.

One name to watch is Jordan Love. With Aaron Rodgers inking a new deal with the Green Bay Packers, Hunter Atkins thinks the former first-round pick might now be on the market and benefit from a change of scenery. He would give the Texans another young arm in the room.

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