How the Houston Texans can avoid an unmistakable draft trap

It's time for the Texans to draft their next QB. Composite image by Brandon Strange, photos by Getty Images.

The Houston Texans are reportedly hosting Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud on Wednesday. With the NFL Draft roughly three weeks away, we're seeing a lot of smoke and mirrors around the league.

Earlier in the week, Peter King tossed out the possibility of the Texans taking a defensive player, such as Alabama’s Will Anderson, at No. 2 instead of a quarterback.

While in theory, Houston has the capital to take a defensive player and then either trade back up to get a quarterback in this year’s draft or punt all together for next year’s class of play calling prospects, doing so could be a huge mistake for the Texans.

The most important position in the NFL is at quarterback.

This past season’s final four teams in the postseason featured Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy. While only three of those players are fully established, even San Francisco’s Purdy was playing at a high level leading into championship Sunday.

When Purdy went down with injury, the juggernaut offense of the 49ers became a skeleton of itself despite weapons like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle still on the field.

While Anderson is an impressive prospect, the Texans have first-hand experience that not even a dominant defensive star, like J.J. Watt, is enough to overcome a subpar offense led by an average-to-below-average quarterback as was the case in 2014 and 2015.

USC’s Caleb Williams is next year’s consensus top pick but nothing is guaranteed in football. Williams could have a down season that plummets his stock, just look at Spencer Rattler. While that probably won’t happen, there is also the factor of Houston winning more games.

After three straight seasons of having four or fewer wins, the Texans could finally get out of the NFL’s basement, meaning the team would have to trade up to put itself in position to get the top quarterback in 2024.

Or the Texans can avoid having to pay that hefty price altogether. They are guaranteed to have a shot at taking either Stroud or Alabama’s Bryce Young. If they want, they can take Anthony Richardson or Will Levis too.

Houston wants to forget about the Deshaun Watson era for many reasons, but think back to the first six weeks of the 2017 season. It was clear that Watson was a special quarterback, as he left Texans fans in awe with spectacular performances week in and week out before he tore his ACL.

The city’s fans are hungry to experience that hope and joy from its pro football once again. Houston needs to take its quarterback at No. 2 and build the rest of the team after that.

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