Houston Texans: The Truth on Tom Savage's Chances for Success
Mathematically, the most certain way (or more accurately, the least uncertain way) to acquire a franchise quarterback in the NFL is to choose one with the first pick of the draft.
Youtube A hidden gem?
For the third time in their franchise's history, the Houston Texans had the first pick in the NFL Draft last Thursday. As has been well documented here, my hope all along had been that they would use that pick to take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. As it turns out, they did not. They chose South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney instead.
So be it; I survived draft night.
Even with a chance to move back into the first round and take Manziel somewhere in the 20's (as it turned out, several GMs disagreed with my assessment of Manziel's skills), the Texans chose not to do so.
As it turned out, the Texans (and numerous other teams) just weren't that into Johnny Manziel.
I disagree with the Texans' assessment of Manziel (and Teddy Bridgewater, for that matter, whom they also could've traded back up for at 32), but agreed with their subsequent strategy once they passed on him, whereby they waited until the fourth round to take a quarterback. (They could've waited two more rounds, for all I cared, at that point.) If you're not going to draft a quarterback early, no reason to burn valuable second- and third-round picks on one whose chances of becoming the "face of the franchise" are minimal.
So the Texans waited until the back end of the fourth round, the 135th pick, to be exact, to select University of Pittsburgh signal caller Tom Savage as their rookie project. And a project he is, having gone nearly three calendar years without playing football before leading the Panthers to an up-and-down 7-6 season in 2013, his only season as a starter at Pitt.
As best I can tell, the strengths of Savage, as considered by Bill O'Brien and Rick Smith, are:
* Prototypical NFL quarterback size (6'5", 229 pounds)
* Plus arm strength
* Ability to handle adversity (two transfers, worked construction between transfers)
Here is Savage's highlight reel, for your consumption...