The Houston Texans may have found multiple starters in their 2021 draft class, none impressed the Pro Football Writers Association enough to make its annual All-Rookie team.
General manager Nick Caserio’s first draft in Houston has to go down as a success, not only because of the quality of players he sourced but the fact he did so with no first or second-round picks. From an outsider's perspective, were there any Texans who deserved to be named All-Rookie?
Debatable. However, if nothing else, one deserves an honorable mention (if such a category existed).
Quarterback Davis Mills outperformed his third-round selection by considerable margin - impressing his peers in the process. The former Stanford Cardinal was the eighth signal-caller selected, and yet strong arguments could be made he was in the top two or three performers this year.
Amongst his fellow rookies, Mills finished fourth in passing yards, second in touchdowns, fourth in interceptions, second in quarterback rating, first in games with over 300 yards passing, and first in accurate pass percentage per PFF - all despite starting only 11 games.
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The PFWA selected New England's Mac Jones, who edged Mills in every major statistical passing category and led the Patriots to the playoffs, as its All-Rookie quarterback.
It wasn’t a Pro Bowl-caliber season from Mills, but especially given the circumstances surrounding him, he outperformed expectations. Most importantly, his performances improved as the year wore on.
In terms of the rest of Houston’s rookies, it was a promising start across the board.
Wide receiver Nico Collins and tight end Brevin Jordan both showed flashes when given the opportunity. Linebacker Garret Wallow came into his own as the season progressed, and defensive tackle Roy Lopez was arguably the surprise of the group, with the sixth-round pick starting 15 games.
Ultimately, Houston may not have any All-Rookie honors to celebrate - but that shouldn’t cloud anyone's opinions of this class.