Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans need to get a new quarterback this offseason, but they don’t necessarily need to do so through the draft. One potential alternative solution to the draft could be trading a draft pick to the New England Patriots for their backup quarterback, Ryan Mallett.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller and Nick Underhill of MassLive.com both reported Saturday that the Texans have expressed interest in acquiring Mallett from the Patriots. Should the Texans do so, Miller believes that would make South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney the obvious choice for Houston with the No. 1 overall pick.
Mallett would be a logical fit for the Texans, as he fits the profile of a big, strong-armed quarterback that Houston head coach Bill O’Brien likely covets. Furthermore, Mallett already has working experience with O’Brien from his rookie season, when O’Brien was New England’s offensive coordinator.
Clowney, meanwhile, has seemingly been linked to the Texans as much as anyone in recent weeks. On Feb. 26, B/R’s Mike Freeman reported that Houston was, at least at the time, “favoring taking Clowney with the first pick in the draft.” An explosive edge defender with truly rare physical attributes, Clowney might have the most upside of any prospect in this year’s draft.
The addition of Clowney won’t do enough to help the Texans get back to the playoffs, however, if Houston does not improve at the quarterback position. And while trading for Mallett makes sense on paper, he might not be the right guy for the job.
Though he has the physical tools to excel, Mallett is a raw passer with some accuracy issues and no regular-season starting experience. Meanwhile, as he is on an expiring contract, the Texans would not necessarily have Mallett for any longer than one year should they trade for him.
Houston is not going to fully turn around from its dismal 2013 season until it finds a long-term answer at the quarterback position, and the best way to do that would be to select one of the draft’s top quarterbacks with the No. 1 overall pick.
Additionally, there is a question of just how interested Houston actually is in trading for Mallett. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain, who has covered the NFL for 35 years, confidently stated that the Texans “won't be trading for Ryan Mallett,” while Underhill himself wrote that “nothing is definite” in Houston’s talks with New England regarding Mallett.