The Houston Texans have won the AFC South in back-to-back seasons and four times since 2011 despite having less-than-stellar production from the quarterback position.
In fact, since the Texans became a franchise in 2002, the best QB they’ve had has been… Matt Schaub. They’ve missed on several QB’s in the past, most recently Brock Osweiler.
After they shipped Osweiler to Cleveland during the offseason, the Texans will be looking for a QB in the upcoming draft. Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft has the Texans selecting Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 25 overall pick, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion that Trubisky is the guy for Houston.
ESPN’s Todd McShay recently said none of the QB’s in this draft can help the Texans based on what coach Bill O’Brien looks for in a franchise quarterback.
So just what does O’Brien look for in a franchise QB (apparently “be like Tom Brady” isn’t a realistic option for everyone)?
Brett Kollmann of SB Nation broke that down in 2014 when O’Brien was hired as the head coach.
The main trait O’Brien looks for is intelligence. Height and mobility are bonus attributes in his mind, but they don’t necessarily make a great QB. But intelligence does, and a QB who lacks intellect won’t survive in O’Brien’s system.
Obviously being an accurate passer is important, and so is being a good decision-maker. But being able to read defenses and coverages is paramount in O’Brien’s offense.
Now comes the question relating to this draft class of QB’s: Do any fit that criteria? Several of them seem intelligent—specifically Deshaun Watson, who picked apart Alabama’s vaunted defense in two straight national title games. For some reason though, McShay doesn’t seem to think any of these quarterbacks have what O’Brien is looking for.
Then again, O’Brien did just make the playoffs with Osweiler in 2016 and Brian Hoyer in 2015, so perhaps they take a chance and draft one in the first round anyway. The Texans have an elite defense and a plethora of weapons surrounding the QB on offense, so whomever they take in the draft will have plenty to work with this fall.