Jan 2, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s too early to determine whether Davis Mills is the quarterback of the future for the Houston Texans. But new head coach Lovie Smith liked what he saw from Mills in his rookie year.

Speaking at the Draft Combine, Smith, who was the defensive coordinator for Houston in 2021, spoke highly of Mills’ performance.

“I got a chance to see Davis in a lot of different situations last year,” Smith said, per Coty M. Davis, SI.com. “Early on, he wasn’t starting, so he worked against the first-team defense quite a bit. I love his demeanor. He’s a smart guy, and teammates buy into him. I’m pumped up that he’ll be leading us and excited about his future.”

Of course, Houston’s quarterback situation will also depend on Deshaun Watson. His situation remains in limbo. We don’t know where Watson will be, legally. And even if he can play, Watson’s situation with the Texans was shaky even before those issues came to light.

Assuming Watson is not an option, it’s reasonable that Houston would want to see more out of Mills. He was drafted with the intent of backing up Tyrod Taylor. But when Taylor suffered an early-season injury, Mills was thrust into action.

He got into 13 games for the Texans in 2021, starting 11 of them. Overall, Mills completed 66.8% of his passes for 2,664 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Those aren’t overwhelming statistics by any means. But they’re also not bad for a third-round rookie.

There’s plenty of room for Mills to improve. But a quarterback should develop in his second year. If he continues to do that, Smith’s optimism will be well-founded.


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