Davis Mills has made the best case over 16 games that the Houston Texans need to take a quarterback in 2023.
If the Texans lose to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Central Time at Lucas Oil Stadium in the season finale, Houston will possess the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. The Texans will be in prime position to fix the quarterback spot — presumably with their choice of Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. Most mock drafts have the Texans taking Young.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the Texans take Young. It still begs the question: what does the team do with Mills?
The former 2021 third-rounder will be entering the third year of his four-year, rookie contract. Even if he doesn’t take another significant snap, the Texans can count on Mills to be a backup for the next 34 games.
Mills as a backup would add tremendous value. The Stanford product will have seen 28 regular season games with 26 starts and a full offseason wherein all first-team reps went to him. If Mills were a willing team player and set aside his ego — strong indications are this is likely — he would be a perfect mentor for Young. Mills could enlighten him as to all the tips and tricks of being the first-team quarterback and pass on what Tyrod Taylor, Kyle Allen, and Jeff Driskel taught him about being an NFL quarterback.
Where Mills could have his greatest asset would be as trade bait, but this wouldn’t be likely unless there were a market for him. The type of market that would want Mills would be near the end of a preseason where a swath of veteran backups were wiped out, or a rebuilding team needing a “hold the fort guy” at starting quarterback would rather go with Mills’ services.
Just because Mills may longer be the starter after Week 18 doesn’t mean he no longer has a future in Houston.