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Texans Optimistic Davis Mills is Deshaun Watson QB Successor

The Houston Texans remain noncommittal towards Davis Mills but are optimistic that the second-year quarterback can become Deshaun Watson's successor.

HOUSTON -- The Deshaun Watson era is officially over in Houston. 

Friday afternoon, the Houston Texans traded Watson to the Cleveland Browns for a massive haul of draft picks, which includes the No. 13 overall selection for the 2022 NFL Draft. 

The Texans are without a franchise quarterback for the first time since 2017, when they selected Watson with the No. 12 overall pick of the draft.   

Since their expansion in 2002, it took the Texans 15 years to get a quarterback of Watson's caliber. But following his departure after being with the franchise for five years, it may not take the Texans long to find Watson's successor. ...

If.

The Texans drafted third-rounder Davis Mills with their first selection during the 2021 NFL Draft (No. 67 overall). He had a solid rookie campaign, throwing for 2,664 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021. 

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"Davis has certainly earned an opportunity here, and that’s kind of the extent of what he’s earned," Texans' general manager Nick Caserio said. "I think he’s excited about the chances that he has in front of him, and we’ll see how it all unfolds. I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Davis had opportunities last year and did a nice job."

Davis Mills
Davis Mills, Rex Burkhead

Mills led the Texans to two of their four wins during the season. And after replacing Tyrod Taylor as the starter under center entering a Week 13 match against the Seattle Seahawks, Mills gave the Texans a reason to feel optimistic about the future. 

Although it appears that Houston is noncommittal to Mills, he will be the Texans' starting quarterback for 2022 - even though Caserio's "don't jump to conclusions'' comment is worth filing away.

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Nick Caserio
Davis Mills

Caserio's statement during Saturday's press conference at NRG Stadium echos coach Lovie Smith's thoughts on Mills. Starting jobs are not given out at this time of the year. But Houston's new head coach is "pumped up" and "excited" about the future with Mills.

"I would say when you get into the draft, you don’t want to necessarily eliminate any position or particular player," Caserio said. "It’s about picking good players. It’s about picking the right players that you think fit what you’re trying to do. 

"We’ll look at everything. We’re knee-deep in that right now, and we’ll have another five or six weeks left until we get to the draft to work through that process."