In his debut on Sunday, coming in at halftime of the 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Mills was 8 of 18 for 102 yards. It wasn't great. There were some throws you can be excited about, but more throws that are cause for concern. So, in all likelihood, the search for the next Deshaun Watson continues in next spring's draft.
The problem is that, right now, there doesn't appear to be another Deshaun Watson out there. Hell, there barely appears to be a Baker Mayfield or a Jared Goff out there. This class of college quarterbacks is off to a bit of a shaky start. However, it is a long season, and if you aren't inclined to perch yourself in front of three televisions every Saturday for twelve hours (like me!), then I wanted to give you a de facto Cliffs Notes for scouting future Texans' quarterbacks.
So, for your benefit, faithful reader and Texans fan, here are the key names to know, along with the most important game each one has the remainder of the regular season:
SPENCER RATTLER, Oklahoma
SAVE THE DATE: October 9, vs Texas (at Cotton Bowl)
Rattler opened the season as the Heisman favorite, but despite the Sooners being undefeated and still the favorites to win the Big XII, Rattler has been underwhelming. His season, thus far, has been marked by inconsistent, dangerous throws, and the Sooners' allowing inferior opponents to hang around. The Red River Shootout will be the next big test for Rattler. He needs big numbers and a blowout that afternoon to feel like he should be in the pole position for top of the 2022 draft.
MATT CORRAL, Ole Miss
SAVE THE DATE: October 2, at Alabama
Corral is my favorite quarterback in this class right now. His combination of mobility and accuracy in a Lane Kiffin offense make him my favorite for the Texans, although I am not sure I'd sue a top five pick on him (or any QB in this class, for that matter). October 2 will be a monster test against the closest thing you'll find to an NFL defense in Alabama.
MALIK WILLIS, Liberty
SAVE THE DATE: November 6, at Ole MIss
A month after Alabama-Ole Miss, it will be Ole Miss on the other side of a Texans' QB target, when they host Malik Willis, the Auburn transfer turned Liberty pinball machine number generator. Willis probably the best combination of arm talent and mobility in this draft, and the one who would probably excite Texan fans the most of any of these prospects. A game against an SEC opponent will give a nice gauge on his worthiness of a top pick.
DESMOND RIDDER, Cincinnati
SAVE THE DATE: October 2, at Notre Dame
KEDON SLOVIS, USC
SAVE THE DATE: October 23, at Notre Dame
SAM HOWELL, North Carolina
SAVE THE DATE: October 30, at Notre Dame
In a strange twist fo fate, the defense for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, featuring future top ten pick Kyle Hamilton, become a barometer for not one, not two, but THREE of the prospects that the Texans should be watching. Ridder is a dual threat quarterback, trying to do the unprecedented and get a Group of Five school into the College Football Playoff. Slovis plays for Notre Dame's biggest rival, and will be doing so with an interim head coach. Finally, Howell was alongside Rattler as the top two quarterbacks in this class coming into the season, and this will be a huge stage for him to get people feeling positively about him again after a dud in the season opener against Virginia Tech.
CARSON STRONG, Nevada
SAVE THE DATE: October 2, at Boise State
Strong is getting a lot of love as a possible top pick in the draft, but this past weekend was a rough look for him, in a 38-17 loss to Kansas State in the rare test against Power Five competition. The game in Boise on the blue turf will be one of his final opportunities to do something against well renowned competition.
TYLER SHOUGH, Texas Tech
SAVE THE DATE: October 30, at Oklahoma
Though is an Oregon transfer who, three games in, is 3-0 with nearly 800 yards passing. Those aren't crazy, space age, Texas tech style passing numbers, but Shough's arm talent makes him a darling of NFL draft experts. We will see if Nick Caserio and the rNFL general managers feel similarly,
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