HOUSTON - Talking about a trade of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson right now seems foolish. The fifth-year quarterback has 21 lawsuits against him for sexual assault entering April by Texas lawyer Tony Buzbee.
Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, recently released 18 statements from massage therapists who said Watson acted professionally during their sessions.
And in between it all? There still is so much left to the unknown at this time, meaning Watson's status with the Texans remains in limbo.
Texans boss Nick Caserio suggested to SI.com's Albert Breer that while trading Watson was off the table when the GM first arrived in Houston, that now could be an option. Should Watson be cleared of the allegations, both parties could be looking for a fresh start elsewhere.
After all, Watson did ask to be traded before the allegations began flooding in left and right.
If Watson were to be moved, the asking price would still be high. Multiple picks in the 2021 NFL Draft would be among the goals.
But where to start over for Houston?
The Texans would be expected to run with Tyrod Taylor to begin the season no matter what happens to Watson. At this point for his best use as a teacher would be having someone to teach.
In this hypothetical scenario - Deshaun is gone - bringing in a young potential franchise guy will be key. But who? And when?
In what round would they take him? And who would they take?
Here's one quarterback in every round the Texans should at least consider targeting.
ROUND 1: Justin Fields, Ohio State
Not too long ago, Fields was the consensus No. 2 quarterback behind Trevor Lawrence. The Ohio State product lit up the Big 10 in 2019 behind his accuracy, arm strength and dual-threat ability to make defenders miss in the open-field.
One of the biggest knocks against Fields has been his timing and progression. The former Buckeye can have a tendency to hold the ball longer than expected, allowing defenders to make up for a lost play. Another area where Fields will need to improve is his tendency to not let plays unfold due to confidence after his first read.
Taylor's mobility and work to deliver quick strikes serves as a perfect mentor for Fields should Houston consider taking him. The talent is there but the mechanics need work.
Taylor can help with the adjustment to NFL speed for a season before Fields takes over as the next signal-caller.
ROUND 2: Kyle Trask, Florida
Growing up right outside of Houston in Manvel, Trask is the feel-good story. He's a high IQ-based quarterback coming from Dan Mullen's system down in Gainesville. Off production alone, his stock has soared up draft boards since Week 1 of the 2020 season.
Most of Trask's success came with a clean pocket and a star-studded supporting cast to work after the catch. Few would describe his arm as pinpoint accurate and his lack of mobility makes him limited behind a weak offensive or decent coverage downfield.
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Trask is smart and understands the X's and O's of the game. His inconsistent mechanics might not have him looking like a franchise star, but development in the right system will.
ROUND 3: Davis Mills, Stanford
There isn't a likely player most fans will say "who?" to more than Mills this offseason. That's the problem when playing on a lackluster team in Palo Alto. As a two-year starter, the former Cardinal can assess a situation early, connect downfield and have the confidence to throw on target.
The biggest area of concern with Mills relies in his quickness. Sometimes he will decide where the ball his headed without waiting for the play to unfold. That led to multiple turnovers during his time in college.
Mills might be the "best" Day 2 option based on skills alone. He has to learn the "dos" and "don'ts" of passing if he hopes to have a career as anything more than a backup.
ROUND 4: Jamie Newman, Wake Forest
Newman's talents alone might have made him a first-round pick entering last season. Originally expected to play for Georgia, the former Demon Deacon elected to opt out due to COVID-19.
Going off his final tape in the ACC, Newman is cool under pressure and won't bail at the first hint trouble. Working well through his progression, the Wake Forest product will only run should he be forced to. In the open-field, his size will allow him bully defenders while his speed should pick up the yards.
Newman's main risk is he hasn't played in over a year. He'll need to learn to develop better pocket awareness, but the confidence he carries could help him adjust to NFL life faster than most pocket-passers.
ROUND 5: Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
There isn't a "wowing" factor with Franks. He's your stereotypical quarterback with a great size and good arm strength. Best of all? His experience at both Arkansas and Florida should have him developing into a multitude of systems at the next level.
Franks has to get better at going through his progressions and delivering cleaner strikes. Still, off size alone, there's a chance working with Tim Kelly and Pep Hamilton helps Franks explode as a serviceable player.
ROUND 6: Ian Book, Notre Dame
From a leadership standpoint, Book might be the best quarterback in this class. He's gusty, though and is willing to put the team on his back. Sometimes, it's too much that leads to forced plays downfield in tight coverage.
Book might be the best of the late bunch, but he needs to improve on his touch and vision to be a quality name in the NFL.
ROUND 7: Peyton Ramsey, Northwestern
Ramsey made the most of his final season after leaving Indiana in 2019. As a passer, he's limited to short and intermediate throws while working well in RPO systems. Overall, he's a what you see is what you get type passer.
At the next level, he'll rely on consistency based on weapons. Maybe it's enough to bide him time while adjusting to NFL life.
CONTINUE READING: Texans GM Finally Admits Deshaun Watson NFL Trade Is An Option