HOUSTON — Amid major uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans selected Stanford quarterback Davis Mills with their first pick in the NFL draft on Friday night at No. 67 overall.
Watson's future with the team is in question after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, leaving his future with the team up in the air. Even before all that Watson had been unhappy with the direction of the team and requested a trade earlier this year.
Mills was asked how much he knows about Watson's legal situation.
“Not much about it, obviously," he said. “The only thing I can control is how I how I handle myself."
The Texans traded this year's fourth-round pick (109th overall), one of this season's fifth-round picks (158) and a fourth-round pick next season to Carolina to move up to select Michigan receiver Nico Collins with the 89th pick.
Houston needed a receiver after star Will Fuller signed with the Dolphins during free agency. Collins opted out of the 2020 season after grabbing 76 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. That came after he had 632 yards receiving with six TDs in 2018.
Mills was a two-year starter at Stanford where he threw for 1,509 yards and seven touchdowns in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. He threw for a career-high 1,960 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019.
“I can’t do it from the start, but I think my leadership ability is up there," he said. “Obviously, I've got to get in front of some of my teammates, and start building that respect by putting in hard work and then the next thing, just that winning mentality and that ability on the field."
The Texans didn't have picks in the first two rounds this season after they traded away their slots in the 2019 deal with Miami that brought left tackle Laremy Tunsil to Houston.
General manager Nick Caserio signed veteran Tyrod Taylor to give the team an insurance policy at quarterback if Watson can’t or won’t play for them next season.
Taylor signed a one-year deal with Houston after spending the past two seasons with the Chargers. He started one game last season before being sidelined when a team doctor accidentally punctured his lung when giving a painkilling injection for a rib injury. By the time he recovered, Taylor had lost his starting job to Justin Herbert.
Drafting Mills gives the Texans more depth at the position along with Ryan Finley, acquired from the Bengals in March.
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Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press