At the NFL Combine, football analysts weighed in on the big questions surrounding the Texans this offseason. In Part 1 of this series, national media members discussed Houston's quarterback situation.
How will the Texans address the quarterback situation in the 2015 NFL Draft?
Rich Gannon (Sirius Radio, NFL on CBS): "I wouldn't be surprised (if the Texans did not draft a quarterback.) I think they'll look at every possible alternative whether it's free agency, with what they already have. They're doing something with Ryan Mallett. I think Bill likes Ryan Mallett, it's unfortunate he got hurt last year. He's got a lot of arm talent, we know about that.
"I don't think they'll leave any stone unturned including looking at this draft class very hard. If he sees another quarterback he likes, maybe in the third or fourth round, maybe he'll pull the trigger again."
Sam Farmer (L.A. Times): "It's not a deep quarterback draft. Might be a little early for the Texans to be thinking quarterback. Maybe they can get a guy that can develop, like Brett Hundley from UCLA; a guy that you could sort of set aside and work on. Clearly, this is a franchise that is built on defense right now, but yet the right head coach to develop a quarterback for down the road."
Albert Breer (NFL Network): "I would expect it would be a lot like last year. Last year they went to the quarterback class, they didn't see a guy that stuck out and the worst thing you can do, worse than waiting a year or two for the right guy to come along is to gamble on the wrong guy because then you're tied to that guy and your job security becomes tied to somebody you're lukewarm about or you don't feel as great as you possibly could about.
"I think they'll continue to be patient and that may mean taking a quarterback later in the draft."
Greg Cosell (NFL Films): "(Marcus) Mariota and (Jameis) Winston at the top- they're not in play for the Texans. I don't think Coach O'Brien would take either one, but then it comes down to who he may like as a fourth or a fifth-round pick. As I said, that's in the eye of the beholder; what you expect from the quarterback, what you want to see from that player in your system.
"I wouldn't be surprised if they took one late. They also still have Tom Savage, who is a player I liked coming out last year. I knew he needed work, and now he's had a year in the system. They just have young players who are unproven, and at some point in this league you have to play a young player who's unproven."
John Clayton (ESPN): "I think you can see the way things are shaping up league wide. Most teams are keeping the quarterbacks even if they're debatable, so if indeed Jay Cutler's not going to be available in a trade, if indeed Sam Bradford, who may be able to shop himself but is staying in St. Louis, and you already know Peyton Manning's coming back, what's going to be available?
"You could go for Josh McCown. You could go for Brian Hoyer, but why not stay with Ryan Fitzpatrick then try and get Ryan Mallett back and have him compete? I think it's going to be kind of staying pat as long as they can get Mallett back and if they can find a draft choice, maybe in the third or fourth round, then maybe have him be in development for a year or two. One thing I think Bill O'Brien can do is develop quarterbacks."
What type of quarterback that would fit into Bill O'Brien's system?
Gannon: "I think a guy that has, obviously, arm talent, a guy that has some mobility; I think Bill likes that in the quarterback position. I think the big thing with Bill, he's looking for a guy with a great toughness, great leadership skills, and highly intelligent.
"It's not an easy system. A lot of responsibilities placed in the quarterback in that offense, change in place and protections and those type of things. So to me, that's what you're really looking for. I don't know they're going to find that in this draft class. I don't think it's a great quarterback class, from top to bottom; you can start looking at those intangibles."
Solomon Wilcots (NFL Network, Sirius XM): "You've got to be able to improve with what you've got even if you look at the free agent market. I think they would do better with a Ryan Mallett. One might say, 'Well, he's not Peyton Manning.' No, he's not. He's not Tom Brady. He's not Drew Brees. But he does know the system, and I think that puts him heads and shoulders above anyone else that could come walking through that door, conceivably through the free agent market, or via the draft.
"You've got to be able to develop talent. Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick, and when he walked through the door, no one said, This guy's going to win four Superbowls. No one understands that better than the people that are currently in the building in Houston right now."
Who do you think the Texans starting quarterback will be in Week 1 and why?
Cosell: "I'd like to see them bring back Ryan Mallett, if he's willing to come back. I was actually very disappointed that he got hurt, because I was really looking forward to seeing him play the last five or six games. I thought he had a chance. I still think he has a chance to be a pretty good player. He obviously knows Coach O'Brien's offense from his time in New England and then being in Houston. I would like to see Ryan Mallett come back and get the first opportunity as a starter."
Gannon: "I think there's going to be some fierce competition in the spring and the summer in terms of who the quarterback's going to be in Houston."
Up Next: National Media evaluates Bill O'Brien's first year as the Texans head coach.
View photos from Monday's workouts at the NFL combine.