HOUSTON -- The verdict on if Houston Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills can be the next franchise QB is still out there. However, throws like ones in the fourth quarter certainly help his case.
Mills, the Texans first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, made his league debut following an injury to veteran QB Tyrod Taylor. On his second drive, he would throw an interception right into the hands of Cleveland Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith.
The next drive, things were on point.
After picking up a 27-yard penalty on a pass interference call, Houston neared the red zone. On a third and goal situation, Mills found Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandin Cooks for the 3-yard touchdown.
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That throw would become the first touchdown of Mills' career, inching Houston closer to regaining the lead.
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The former Stanford quarterback was expected to be a "project" during the 2021 season. Even Cardinal coach David Shaw said during the NFL Draft process, teams should view his rookie season as a "redshirt" year due to his lack on production in college.
Mills played in just 11 games during his three season in Palo Alto. For his career, he would throw for 3,468 yards and 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Should Taylor, who left following a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, be unable to go, the Texans likely would allow Mills to get the start. The question now turns to who will be the backup on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers?
Due to the NFL COVID-19 protocols, only players who currently are on rosters can be activated for Thursday night. This would mean the Texans could not add a name to activate in time for kickoff based on a short week.
The Texans currently have Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson on the active roster and veteran Jeff Driskel on the practice squad. Watson currently is facing 22 civil counts of sexual misconduct and sexual assault while also demanding a trade from the organization.