Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Reportedly Down to Two Quarterbacks in NFL Draft

Bryce Young is firmly on the radar for the Houston Texans.
Screen grab from YouTube
Bryce Young is firmly on the radar for the Houston Texans.
From the time the 2022 college football season started, the race for everything quarterback-related in college football seemed to be a two-man race between 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama's Bryce Young, and 2021 Heisman finalist, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud. While neither won the Heisman in 2022 (take a bow, Caleb Williams!), the lead up to the draft has centered on these two signal callers.

This is highly relevant here in Houston because (a) the Texans need a quarterback, and (b) they have the second overall pick in the draft. The Texans could have had the first pick in the draft if they'd just gone out and lost — something they did with great frequency the last three seasons — in Week 18 to the Colts. Alas, they eked out a 32-31 win, and they sit at two.

Fortunately, both Young and Stroud have impressed appropriately during this evaluation period, and it appears that the Texans' improbable win in Week 18 won't hurt them. Per James Palmer of the NFL Network, the Texans have narrowed down their search for their next franchise QB to Young and Stroud, and are ready to roll with either one:
The money quote from Palmer in the above video is this one:
"The Texans have the mindset right now of, 'Let's see who gets picked at number one, and we'll take the other guy,' because both of them [Young and Stroud] check a lot of boxes. You heard what DeMeco Ryans said: It's really down to the two of them, and they're evaluating both of them. If you listen to any of the the decision-makers down there in Houston, they'll tell you, 'We're not going to compare the two, but they both check a lot of the boxes that we want checked on the field and off the field.'"
As this process has played out, a chasm has developed between Young, Stroud, and the rest of the pack, and as Palmer points out above, perhaps that has to do with the high grades Young and Stroud receive in the key areas of leadership and experience, particularly in massive games. The word "intangibles" is one you'll hear quite a bit leading up to the draft, when these signal callers are discussed.

The most polarizing touchpoint in evaluating both of these quarterbacks has been Young's size. He measured in at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds at the NFL Combine. To give you an idea of just how slight of build Young is, 204 pounds was a pleasant surprise for how HIGH that number was. For what it's worth, Ryans has made it clear, Young's size is not an issue for the Texans.

So with C.J. Stroud in town this week, and Bryce Young slated to visit Houston later this month, it sounds like visiting with any other quarterback could just be subterfuge. Carolina will take one of Young or Stroud, and the Texans seems to be content to take the other.

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