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Breakfast: Texans draft mailbag


Let's crank up this Mailbag yet again…

Q: Juan @salazarju69 - What are your thoughts on Texans drafting 2 in second/third round and maybe sixth/seventh round, taking a chance on Kelly from Ole Miss?
A: I've thought about this one a bit but here's a similar question I got as well.

Q: @wRightDecision2 - Would you rather bunch picks together to trade up for a QB you like (if you had) or use those bunch picks on multiple QBs?
A: There's one team that I could think of that actually did both. They packaged a ton of picks together to get up to No. 2 in the 2012 draft AND drafted a second quarterback in the 4th round. That was the Washington Redskins.

They drafted Robert Griffin III with the second pick of the 2012 behind Andrew Luck, then drafted Kirk Cousins in the 4th round. Although RGIII didn't work out long term for them, Cousins has shown he's more than competent as the starter, making the Pro Bowl in 2016.

The other team I thought of that drafted a couple of quarterbacks in the same year was the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. They drafted Troy Aikman at number one overall, then selected Steve Walsh in the first round of the supplemental draft in the same year. Obviously, Aikman panned out, but in the first couple of seasons, Walsh pushed Aikman for starting time, but Aikman won out and went to the Hall of Fame.

Drafting multiple quarterbacks doesn't happen often and those were the only two I could think of off the top of my head. Those worked, I guess you could say, although some might feel the jury is still out on Cousins.

To Juan's question, sure, I could see the Texans drafting multiple quarterbacks. They may not, but I do think that multiple quarterbacks will come to rookie minicamp, whether that's two draft picks or a draft pick and an undrafted free agent signee.

I don't think it'll include Chad Kelly from Ole Miss though. Chad's going to play in this league; he's too talented to not get a shot. There's just been too much "noise in the system" since he entered college, on top of an ACL injury suffered late in the 2016 season. That combination has typically been a "no" since the Texans' inception.

Q: @278543ec21754b1 (we've got to get F'ing Hawke a new handle) - What is your evaluation on Davis Webb? Would he fit O'B's system?
A: Let me handle the second one first. No quarterback in college football is a true fit into this or many NFL systems. The majority of quarterbacks in this draft class come from some version of a spread scheme and Webb is certainly one of those guys. But, BUT, can he grow into this system, knowing it inside and out and run this offense? Certainly. It's just going to be a steep learning curve, but that's the case for (insert name of QB here, in fact insert ALL of them).

At the Senior Bowl when I had a chance to interview Webb, I was looking up to him. Not Zach Banner-looking-up, but still, Webb's a legit 6-5. He has a ¾ -type release, but has a plus arm and for a big guy, the ball gets out of his hand quickly. I like his moxie and his composure. He's been working from under center all offseason and will continue to do so until it becomes wrote memory.

Some think Webb will be a first rounder but that might be a bit high. However, he has physical gifts that some NFL quarterbacks would covet.

Q: @mvpnhouston - When teams draft a franchise QB, why don't they hire an OC from the same college so there's no learning curve on the playbook?
A: A quick aside that will get me toward the answer to this question. Back in the fall, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was asked why he was seemingly so comfortable running Dallas' offense as a rookie. Prescott said that much of the verbiage, including some aspects of the scheme, were similar to what he'd done at Mississippi State. That helped make the transition that much easier.

That actually was one of the things I said about scouting Dak at Mississippi State; he was asked to make throws most NFL teams have in their schemes, even though it was a shotgun spread offense that's not seen much at the NFL level. What I didn't know was how similar much of the playbook would be for him in Dallas. But, he noted that it was a huge factor.

When I first saw Aron's question, I thought there's no way, then I thought about Dak. It worked for him but he's definitely the exception more so than the rule. In fact, he might be the only exception.

Why doesn't it happen?

First of all, most college offenses don't have answers for many of the complex fronts and coverages that NFL defenses present on a weekly basis. The easy answer would be to look at how Chip Kelly struggled when he brought his offense to the NFL. Steve Spurrier found out the same thing when he moved on to the Washington Redskins. These two transitions were awfully difficult and ultimately unsuccessful.

These are two different games (college v. NFL), perhaps now more than ever. The overabundance of spread offenses in college hasn't taken hold in the NFL. Furthermore, think of the coaches that made that transition from college to the NFL and succeeded. Jimmy Johnson (Pro Style). Jim Harbaugh (Pro Style). Pete Carroll (Pro Style). Will there one day be a true spread believer at the college ranks that gets a shot as a head coach in the NFL and makes it work? Odds would say yes but that day isn't in the near future, unfortunately.

The other aspect is that, yes, the quarterback would be comfortable with his scheme, but it then would be different for the 10 other guys on the field. To combat that situation, Spurrier went out and drafted or signed players that knew his system from Florida and the Redskins got destroyed. Teams learned lessons from that situation.

Even if a team had a true spread believer as a head coach and it drafted a Pro style quarterback, he wouldn't hire that quarterback's college offensive coordinator. Coaches love their schemes and only kick them to the curb in drastic situations.

Now would teams be smart to incorporate some of the things that a quarterback did in college into their professional offense at some point? Absolutely. But, hiring that player's offensive coordinator is problematic on a few different levels.

Thanks again and if you have any comments/questions/thoughts, send me a tweet at @jharrisfootball. Take care and have a great weekend.

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