The last straw has fallen, the camel’s back has been broken and the beginning of a new era is underway for the Houston Texans. It was only a matter of time before Gary Kubiak was fired and H-Town unfairly gave up on Case Keenum, who initially looked like the team’s new franchise quarterback. But the fan base’s trust in No. 7 seemed to vanish the moment Kubiak was fired, which will likely mean Houston will use the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on a quarterback, just like in 2002. But if they’re wise, the Texans won’t make the same mistake again.
Everyone in the football world is pretty much in agreement that Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback in the 2014 draft class. Personally, I think he’s a bit overrated and Zach Mettenberger is the top choice for next May, but the latter has a torn ACL and the NFL scouts are the ones who get paid the big bucks, so Louisville’s former Heisman candidate is the likely choice. However, Houston would be smart to use that first overall pick on another area of need because Lord knows the team has too many holes to count.
There are two even bigger reasons behind that train of thought: 1. There are a ton of solid quarterback options in this year’s draft and 2. A quarterback taken first overall would automatically win the starting job over Keenum, which wouldn’t help anyone.
Keenum has not been given a fair chance to be the Texans’ new franchise signal-caller. Period. Kubiak tried his best to give that job back to Matt Schaub for whatever reason and now it has cost him his job, and likely many more members of Houston’s staff before the 2014 season rolls around. With a full offseason of legit reps, Keenum could be the dynamic passer he was at the University of Houston, where he set every NCAA career passing record in the book.
If pitted against a second-, third- or fourth-round pick, the fight would be fair and both young passers would benefit from it. Sure, many NFL teams ignorantly look for an opening day starter in the draft, but players like Andrew Luck are few and far between and regardless of the talent level of all the good passers in this year’s class, all of them would benefit from a year or two on the sidelines.
Here’s the bottom line: If Houston takes Bridewater or some other overrated passer at No. 1 overall, Keenum’s tenure in Houston will essentially be over and that new signal-caller will fail just like his predecessors. Contrary to belief made popular by the 2012 Indianapolis Colts, rebuilding isn’t done in one offseason. That Colts team was the same one that went to two Super Bowls with Peyton Manning under center.
Hopefully the Texans’ next head coach will be smart enough to see that, wait to draft a quality quarterback and then give that young passer and Keenum each a fair chance to win the job. Otherwise, we’ll be having this conversation again three or four years from now.