When the second overall pick of any NFL Draft is a quarterback, the expectations rise significantly for the overall production of any offense. Throw in the addition of OC Bobby Slowik and his offensive scheme and the thoughts on the Texans' quarterback position are much different than they were a year ago, two years ago etc…Let's take a look at the Texans' QB position as we head into the 2023 Training Camp, just days away.
2023 Texans Training Camp roster (in numerical order)
#7 C.J. Stroud (Rookie) - 2023 1st Round - 2nd overall
2022 stats (at Ohio State) - 13 games - 66% completion, 3,688 yards, 41 TD, six INT; 108 yards rushing
It's still a bit surreal to walk the hallways of NRG Stadium and see Stroud wearing Texans gear. The organization kept it such a secret that even I, a huge supporter of Stroud throughout the Draft process, didn't think that the Texans would draft him at No. 2 overall. But, they found what hopefully is the foundation piece at the position for the next, shoot, however long. I won't put the cart in front of the horse, guaranteeing greatness throughout his career, but I will get excited about what Stroud brings to this offense. He showed during OTA/minicamp that he has some learning to do and experience to gain but, BUT, he can absolutely sling the rock with precision, zip and touch all over the field. He's a rookie so there will be bumps in the road, but there's experience around him to help him get through it, not to mention a coaching staff led by head coach DeMeco Ryans, who has already made it a point to tell anyone who will listen that the QB of this team just has to do his job, no extra pressure needed.
#10 Davis Mills (3rd NFL season) - 2021 3rd round
2022 stats - 15 games - 61% completion, 3,118 yards, 17 TD, 15 INT; 108 yards rushing, two TD
As a rookie in 2021, Mills had three absolutely brilliant games against the Patriots, Chargers and Titans. Those were the moments that had people excited about what he could, and can, do as an NFL QB. But, in his second year in the league in 2022, Mills struggled a bit more than he did as a rookie. When he thrived in the fourth quarter, in particular, the Texans went and won on the road in the division. He threw a pair of dimes at Jacksonville on the only TD drive of the game. He was brilliant on the final drive in frigid temperatures in the win over Tennessee in Nashville. And, who will ever forget his TWO fourth down, late-in-the-game conversions that helped beat Indianapolis at Lucas Oil? Those two years are now behind him and he has a new system, new coaching staff and a new outlook. He seemed comfortable learning the system in OTA/minicamp, now it's time to thrive in this training camp and three preseason games/opportunities.
#18 Case Keenum (12th season in the NFL) - signed as UDFA in 2012
2022 stats - 2 games (BUF) - backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo, only threw seven passes
When Keenum was signed, the city of Houston erupted in joy as its adopted son was coming back home. Yes, he's from Abilene, but Houston has claimed him after a legendary career at the University of Houston and portions of 2012 - 2014 spent with the Texans. The Voice of the Texans Marc Vandermeer and I still discuss his re-arrival in Houston in 2014 after spending a weekend in a deer blind, then leading the Texans to two wins down the stretch. Fast forward nine years later and Keenum has seen it all and, seemingly, done it all in the NFL. In my estimation, he's perfect for that QB room, keeping it light, yet being the sage, wise veteran that has two times the experience of the other QBs, combined. So, what's left in the tank? Plenty, but it's mostly about what's left in his mind to share with these two young cats - C.J. Stroud and Davis Mills. And, that's as valuable as anything else for this entire 2023 Texans squad.
View photos of the Houston Texans quarterbacks heading into 2023 Training Camp.