He is not getting the hype that many of the 2021 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks are getting, but former Stanford Cardinal QB David Mills could turn into a solid option for the Houston Texans, who drafted him with the No. 67 pick overall. Mills did not play a ton of games at the college level, but his arm talent could translate well to the NFL. There are plenty of questions surrounding Deshaun Watson, so this will be a pick to track.
The Pac-12 played the fewest games of any Power 5 conference in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mills played in five of the six games Stanford played during the season and completed 66.2% of his passes for 1,508 yard and seven touchdowns with three interceptions as the Cardinal finished 4-2 overall.
Mills started in just 11 games during his college career, so there is room to speculate in either direction on how good he can be with a limited sample size compared to many of the quarterbacks in this year’s class. He has the size at 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds that the Texans should be excited about, and Mills has a good arm to make plenty of throws needed at the next level.
Do not look for Mills to run the ball all that much as he rushed for less than 100 yards in his college career, though that also includes sack yardage. Not having a ton of experience at the college level could be a concern, but Mills has an opportunity to prove he can be a quality quarterback as a pro.
Fantasy football impact
The Texans have one of the NFL’s more interesting quarterback rooms. There’s no telling whether Deshaun Watson will play in 2021 because of the allegations being brought against him, and Tyrod Taylor is the backup. Houston’s porous offensive line and declining receiving corps will require a mobile quarterback to score points, and Mills doesn’t excel at escaping pressure. If Mills does get a shot as a starter, he’ll likely be running for his life. His questionable decision-making could lead to quite a few turnovers.
Some people felt that Mills could’ve developed into a first-round talent with one more year, so it could take some time for him to figure things out in the NFL. He has solid accuracy on short and intermediate throws but struggled to convert scoring opportunities when forced to throw down the field because of poor ball placement. Mills will be a backup quarterback until he learns to read defenses and make decisions faster.