Report: Houston Texans draft plans could ultimately hinge on polarizing QB

The Texans could look to add Jimmy Garoppolo and Anthony Richardson. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

The Houston Texans are expected to have a new signal caller as the starter for 2023, but it might not be as everyone initially expected.

There is a push within the Houston Texans organization to sign quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason with the idea of also picking a young play caller in the first round and sitting him for the year to grow, CBS Sports reported on Tuesday morning.

Of course, Garoppolo would have to want to come to Houston in this scenario.

With Houston owning the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks in this year’s draft, many expected the Texans to take one of Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis. One of the biggest concerns about all of the prospects, however, has been whether any of them would be ready to be a day one starter.

Signing Garoppolo opens the door to many possibilities for the Texans, including what they can do with their current draft capital. Here are some scenarios of what Houston can do.

Trade down

If the Texans sign Garoppolo, the need to take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick becomes less important and opens the door to multiple possibilities.

Because there is not a clear-cut No. 1 guy to take at QB, the Texans could trade down. Teams like the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7 overall), Atlanta Falcons (No. 8 overall), or Carolina Panthers (No. 9 overall) may value one of the quarterbacks as a can’t pass prospect.

Even if the Chicago Bears trade the No. 1 overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts or stay steady at the top, Houston has a great shot at still being able to pick one of those four quarterbacks with a first-round pick outside the top six. The reason being, Arizona, Seattle and Detroit sit at No. 3. No. 5 and No. 6 respectively. All do not have a strong need at the position.

The trade down scenario is only feasible if general manager Nick Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans believe there is not much separation between the four quarterbacks or that their best quarterback prospect will still be available outside the top six.

The benefit of trading down is that Houston stays with two high first-round draft picks and can add even more capital in the process.

Focusing on defense

One of the glaring weaknesses of the 2022 Houston Texans defense was its inability to stop the run. Even if the Bears opt to keep the No. 1 draft pick and take a defensive star like Will Anderson Jr., the Texans are guaranteed to have the option to take one of Anderson, Jalen Carter, depending on how his off-the-field concerns play out, Tyree Wilson or Myles Murphy at No. 2.

Any of those players have a chance to significantly improve Houston’s defensive line struggles from day one. If Houston is comfortable with either Levis or Richardson, both of whom are considered to be long-term prospects, and believe one of them will be available at No. 12, signing Garoppolo gives the Texans the flexibility to address other areas with their top pick.

Takes pressure off top QB prospect

Even if the Texans opt to take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick despite signing Garoppolo, it would take away an enormous amount of pressure on that prospect.

Not having to worry about being the starter from day one will offer Houston’s potential top quarterback selection an opportunity to learn the offense with less stress, at his own pace, and have the resource of another person in the building, who has been around it for the past six seasons.

Garoppolo has been with the San Francisco 49ers since 2018 and knows the ins and outs of the type of offense the Texans will look to run in 2023 under Bobby Slowik. He also has familiarity with Caserio. Both were together with the New England Patriots.

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