Now that we know the Texans will go to work with Jadeveon Clowney on defense, who will be the opening-day starter at the quarterback position? Ryan Fitzpatrick was their lukewarm free-agent acquisition, and he is better suited as a solid backup option.
Heading into Week 1 with Fitzpatrick at the helm would be a disappointing offseason for Houston, to say the least. Houston becomes the third team in three years for the former Ivy League QB. He saw a ton of action last year backing up Jake Locker in Tennessee and ranked 22nd out of 47 QBs in my 2013 power rankings.
With that said, it seems logical to assume Houston is ready bring in a rookie signal-caller to compete for the starting job come opening day.
It would be a shame to have such a talented roster struggle for the second year in a row because of lackluster quarterback play.
Derek Carr of Fresno State is still on the board, and many analysts had this cannon-armed rookie being drafted in the latter part of the first round.
Carr is the younger brother of the first pick in Texans franchise history, David Carr, who ultimately turned out to be a dud. Would Derek follow eerily similar footsteps?
Tom Savage is another QB option for Houston. He’s a big-bodied (6’4” and 228 pounds) prospect out of Pittsburgh who is also gifted with a strong arm. Savage has ascended draft boards recently, and he is certainly an intriguing possibility.
In Matt Miller’s latest full mock draft, he has the Texans taking LSU QB Zach Mettenberger with the 33rd pick overall.
Mettenberger has had some bad publicity recently after reportedly failing a drug test at the scouting combine for allegedly diluting his sample. He’s also currently in the process of recovering from knee surgery.
Alabama's AJ McCarron is a proven winner who understands how to avoid the type of mistakes that cost his team the game. The ceiling may not be as high for McCarron as some other names mentioned, but his track record in college does speak for itself. The 33rd pick may be a bit high, but if he’s who the Texans believe in, they have to take him here.
Lastly, Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois is a guy Bill O'Brien may see promise in. He has a quick release and looked sharp at both the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game.
If Houston doesn’t feel strongly about these players, it could look to trade down and let another QB-needy team have the pick of the litter at 33. Either way, the Texans have to draft a QB at some point in this draft.