TEXANS TIMELINE

Here's what this insanely too early 2023 mock draft could mean for Davis Mills, Texans

The pressure is on Davis Mills to perform this season. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

If a picture is worth a thousand words ... here's a pick that's worth a whole season of bar arguments, second guessing and endless hours of talk show chatter.

The Athletic, published its insanely too early 2023 NFL mock draft. They used a combination of Vegas projected win totals, evaluations of top prospects, analysis of team needs, and plain old guesswork.

First of all, publishing a mock draft before most colleges have played a single down of football is one step below watching the BacheloretteBelow Deck on Love Island, who's gonna wind up in bed with the No. 1 pick?

But look at who's drafting No. 2 and who they're taking in the Athletic's crystal ball draft: Houston Texans select C.J. Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State.

Think what that means. For starters, the Athletic is saying that the Texans will have the second-worst record in the NFL for the upcoming season. Even more telling, they have the Texans taking a quarterback, which implies that current Texans quarterback, second-year Davis Mills will have a disappointing sophomore year forcing the Texans to draft another signal caller. Which means back to the drawing board for the franchise.

Which means more disappointment, more chaos and turmoil, more fan apathy, more complaining, more calls for Cal McNair to sell the team, more half-empty stands at NRG Stadium and more pleas for Jack Easterby to pack his bags and get out of Houston. The only thing missing is a big tarp covering the upper deck.

How's that for one imaginary pick? If the Athletic wanted to stir it up in Houston, they sure did.

Eight quarterbacks were taken in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL draft - a record. They were:

1. Trevor Lawrence - Jaguars.

2. Zach Wilson - Jets.

3. Trey Lance - '49ers.

11. Justin Fields - Bears.

15. Mac Jones - Patriots

64. Kyle Trask - Buccaneers.

66. Kellen Mond - Vikings.

67. Davis Mills - Texans.

You can make an argument that Mills out-performed the other seven quarterbacks last year. I'm not talking about potential, just who did the best in 2021. Mills threw 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, with an 88.8 passer rating for a dreadful team. As Larry David would say, pretty pretty pretty good.

Yes, Jones had numbers (22 TDs, 13 interceptions) but he’s really, at least so far, a system quarterback who dinks the ball. Lawrence (12 TDs, 17 interceptions) and Wilson (9 TDs, 11 interceptions) played poorly with awful teams and in Lawrence's case, an imbecilic head coach. Fields (7 TDs, 10 interceptions) showed flashes but little consistency. Mond, Lance, and Trask didn’t need to shower after games.

Meanwhile Davis had one of the top efficiency ratings on deep balls, played admirably and did the best with the least. He is the unchallenged QB1 for the Texans heading into this year. And yet the Athletic has the Texans tossing him aside next year.

While the Athletic has the Texans picking a quarterback, they have the Jets taking a pass rusher, Bears (cornerback), Jaguars (wide receiver), Patriots (defensive tackle), Vikings (linebacker), and Buccaneers (pass rusher). Notable that the Vikings are steering clear of a quarterback even though they've already released Mond.

Ironically, reports say the Texans really wanted Mond in the 2021 draft but the Vikings beat them to the punch by one position.

They say that sometimes the best phones calls are the ones you don't make. Same for draft picks.

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The Texans are moving in the wrong direction. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

1. This team started incredibly slow and outside of a couple of drives in the second half disappointed. The defense got worked by the Chargers' star players, and the offense sputtered too often. It was really a summary of the season up to this point which is to say inconsistency.

2. Davis Mills was shaky early. The first drive interception was tough to stomach. The pocket got messy as he tried to drive the ball and he floated one up there. It gave the Chargers an easy drive for seven points.

3. One of the early offensive mistakes erased a scoring opportunity. Kenyon Green got nailed for a holding call that erased one of the best passes and catches between Brandin Cooks and Davis Mills all season. The rookie’s mistake was compounded the very next play when the offense allowed Mills to be sacked. It was a 40-yard swing that led to a punt.

4. Another third down penalty led to a mishap for the Texans. Laremy Tunsil gets a false start on third down to make it third and 10. The shovel pass to Rex Burkhead goes for six yards and then the Texans botch the field goal. Back-to-back drives and third-down penalties affected the offense and ended with no points. That was all just in the first quarter!

5. The Texans were abysmal with short yardage in key spots yet again. In the second quarter, Pep Hamilton opted for a pass on fourth and one. Davis Mills never got the play off and was sacked. After the game, Mills said the team wanted to catch the Chargers off guard running when most expected a pass, but Rex Burkhead was the running back. It was again a situation, a key and critical moment, that the team trusted Burkhead over the more dynamic Dameon Pierce.

6. The Chargers were very chunky on offense against the Texans. There were 16 plays that went for at least ten yards for the Chargers of their 67 plays. Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler were fantastic for Los Angeles.

7. The pass rush was non-existent for the Texans. This was one of the more disappointing aspects of the day to consider the Chargers were playing a rookie right guard, their center is injured but playing, and the left tackle was a backup left tackle. Nothing seemed to get home on an injured Justin Herbert. The Texans recorded just two quarterback hits in the game.

8. The linebackers got worked again. This is the absolute weakest unit on the team right now. They look like they’re easily exploited by most opposing offenses.

9. It was a rough day for the rookie class of the Texans. Derek Stingley was handled by Mike Williams on multiple occasions in key spots. Kenyon Green allowed a big sack and had a holding penalty erase a huge play. Jalen Pitre was the target of some offensive success in the Chargers' passing game.

10. Not all the rookies had a bad day. Dameon Pierce is so much fun to watch. He has the chance to be a truly impactful player for this team. His 75-yard touchdown scamper gave the team some juice, and he constantly fights and gets extra yards when the ball is headed his way. He finished with 14 carries and six catches for 20 total touches.

11. The Texans need teams to help them stay in games, and even then, it is a challenge. The tough part about where the Texans are through four games is there are some positives to look at and point to, but not enough to say the team is surely headed in the right direction. There surely has to be some adjustment by the team when the season is where it is after nearly a quarter of the year. The current direction isn’t going to lead anywhere positive soon.

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