But what if the Texans go another route? What if they don’t select a quarterback at No. 1? What if Houston trades down for more picks later in the draft? QB Watch is an ongoing series looking at early and mid-round quarterbacks that could be a possible fit for the Texans.
Could Aaron Murray be a quarterback for the Texans?
Nearly five months after his surgery, Aaron Murray was able to throw in front of NFL personnel during Wednesday’s Pro Day in Athens, Georgia. The 6-1/2, 207-pound quarterback displayed his skills for representatives from 23 teams for the first time since suffering an ACL injury last November that effectively ended his season and collegiate career. Murray had a solid outing during his Pro Day, completing 48-of-54 throws and is drawing interest from several teams.
#Georgia QB Aaron Murray has workout on Sat. with NFL team and has workout visit for next week. Three diff teams.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 16, 2014
Murray’s injury and smallish frame might be a concern but his work ethic and poise on the field make him an intriguing prospect for the Texans. Murray finished with a 35-17 career record as a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. His athleticism and mobility have led to comparisons with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson.
Head coach Bill O’Brien, known for his experience grooming quarterbacks, may also be a good fit for the SEC Academic honor student. O’Brien wants a smart, accurate, NFL-ready passer that he can absorb and execute his offense, someone who “eats, breathes, and sleeps football.” Murray, who helped rally Georgia to fourth quarter comebacks against LSU and Tennessee during his senior season, is known for his work ethic and wants to take his game to the next level.
“I want a coach that’s going to push me,” Murray said at the NFL Combine in February. “I want someone that’s going to drive me every single day to improve my footwork, to improve my accuracy, to never be happy with where I’m at because I’m never happy with where I’m at. I’m always looking to find ways to improve.”
In 2013 Murray threw for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions, completing 64.8 percent of his passes. On the ground, Murray ran in seven touchdowns and averaged 16.9 yards rushing per game. He put up impressive numbers against tough competition, becoming the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3000-plus years in four-consecutive seasons.
“At Georgia we ran a variety of different formations, spread, Pro I, play action, dropback, gun, so really I feel like I’m capable of playing any type of offense in the NFL just because, like I said, we were pretty diverse at Georgia,” Murray said.
This offseason, Murray had been working with quarterback guru Terry Shea who directed his Pro Day. Shea’s former clients include former No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford and 2012 No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III.
“It was a very ambitious script, in my opinion, because we moved him around so much,” Shea said after Wednesday's Pro Day. “That was paramount because we wanted to demonstrate his health, that he’s 100 percent healthy and I believe he obviously answered those questions. He’s got very clean mechanics; I think he demonstrated that and he drove the ball. I really think it was an A-plus day for Aaron.”
Read more in this series:
QB Watch: Zach Mettenberger
QB Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo
QB Watch: Tom Savage