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O'Brien on rookie quarterbacks

The 2017 NFL Draft is less than four weeks away. If the Texans select a quarterback, don't expect head coach Bill O'Brien to put him in the starting lineup in Week 1.

"I think it's tough to play quarterback as a rookie in our league," O'Brien said Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix. "I think that's a tough task. I think that there's no substitute for experience. So, I think it's hard to ask a guy to come in straight from college and day one he's a starter on your team. But I know that there are some really good quarterbacks in this draft that we're looking at and we've met with a lot of them. We're excited about continuing to get to know them. But, I just think for me as a general rule, that's tough to start them as a day one guy."

Mock draft experts have the Texans selecting a quarterback with a majority of the recent votes going to Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II. The last quarterback drafted by Houston was Tom Savage, selected in the fourth round (135th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. Last season, Savage had his first career start in Week 16 against Cincinnati in a win that clinched the AFC South title.

Savage, now entering his fourth season, is currently the most experienced quarterback in O'Brien's offense. DeAndre Hopkins, signed off waivers in November 2015, has also played two games and started one since joining the Texans. Weeden led Houston to its first franchise win in Indianapolis with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong.

"The quarterback position in this league, regardless of what team they're on, has demands put on them," O'Brien said. "You're playing probably the hardest position in professional sports. You have to make decisions at a moment's notice. You have to be ultra-prepared. You have to be an ultimate competitor. You have to be a great communicator. You have to have leadership skills."

The 2017 NFL Draft takes place Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 in Philadelphia. The Texans hold the 25th overall pick.

Check out photos of quarterback, wide receiver and tight end prospects from the 2017 NFL Combine.

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