Gallant’s Random Thoughts: Draft Party, Deshaun, & Declaring Starters

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – You know what’s been incredible about the Houston Texans?

Before taking Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson last night with the 12th overall pick, Houston had drafted a quarterback in the first round . . . JUST ONCE. And it was the first pick that they ever made: David Carr on April 20th, 2002. I was still in SEVENTH BLEEPING GRADE.

I can see why they got gun-shy about drafting a signal caller after that, because Carr was a bust. At least in the short term. But over 15 years without a first round quarterback? What an incredible aversion. Especially when you consider this is a franchise that had 10 different starters over the last 5 years!

I was hanging out at NRG Stadium for the Texans draft party. And before things kicked off, I was asking the for hot takes from fans. First . . . Steve Beckholt, AKA “The Ultimate Fan

Then, Omascaras . . . who was by far the best dressed in attendance

. . . Along with many more fans.

I asked the people what they wanted the Texans to do. And while there wasn’t a consensus opinion on who they wanted to see in Deep Steel Blue and Battle Red, the majority of fans wanted a quarterback. ANY quarterback.

Going into tonight, I had accepted that the odds of a quarterback falling into Houston’s lap was extremely low. I figured the consensus top 3 – North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, and Watson – would be lonnnnnng gone by the time the Texans picked at 25. I was content with the Texans keeping all of their draft picks this year, and was hoping they’d be able to select one of the top tackle prospects. After all, they don’t exactly have one.

I was just about to go on another lap around NRG Stadium to hear from other Texans fans. Until . . .

Not going to lie. I was shocked. And surprised.

The Chiefs traded their first rounder this year (the 27th overall pick) ANOTHER first rounder (2018), and this year’s third round pick to jump from 27 to 10 to take Mahomes. Meanwhile, the Browns – who needed a quarterback, but apparently not enough to draft Deshaun Watson – decided all they needed was the Texans 25th pick and Houston’s first rounder next year (which by the way, gives the Browns the Texans’ 1st and 2nd round picks next year). Why no extra pick? Are Browns General Manager Sashi Brown and Texans General Manager Rick Smith that close? And again, if the Browns need a quarterback, why did they pass on Watson? And doesn’t it seem like the Texans preferred Mahomes to Watson based off a variety of “leaks” and “rumors” that indicated a bromance between both parties?

But maybe I should just say whatever. After all, the Texans got ballsy. And then this happened.

Don’t get me wrong. This was the quarterback that I wanted the Texans to draft. But I’m not feeling the excitement I thought I would. I suppose that means that I’m officially “Sportsized” as a Cynical Follower of Houston Sports.

We heard from Bill O’Brien and Rick Smith afterwards. And while they were all very complimentary of Deshaun Watson, they both echoed the same sentiment: Tom Savage is still the starting quarterback.

My question to you: do you buy that? Because when you’ve got a first round pick rookie quarterback as your backup, the starter has practically no margin for error. This is true after the first few games. This is true midway through the year. And this is especially true if the Texans fall out of playoff contention.

Tom Savage has a big opportunity. He has even more pressure on his shoulders with his new colleague Deshaun Watson. Let’s see what the Texans end up doing tonight.

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Weeknights 7-11 PM CT – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.

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