DA Draft Buzz April 18: QB not a lock for the Texans in Round 1?

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

General consensus has the Houston Texans taking a quarterback in the first round, yet this belief is not universal from all intimate with the situation. More on the Texans below as well as an update on Indiana guard Dan Feeney.

Once the Houston Texans lost out on the services of Tony Romo, who announced his retirement several weeks ago, everyone automatically assumed the team would select a quarterback in the first round. And the name bandied about has been Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech.

Yet there’s a faction of people I’ve spoken with who are close to the organization and believe the Texans won’t draft a quarterback in the first round for a variety of reasons.

Foremost is the belief that head coach Bill O’Brien, as well as the Texans front office, must win in 2017. The front office can’t risk using the 25th selection of the draft on a developmental quarterback -- the team must select a player who will offer production quickly this season.

They point to Houston drafting a left tackle or cornerback in the first round rather than a signal caller. Both are positions of need, and the players selected could have an immediate impact.

There’s also a feeling that Tom Savage will be seamless in his transition to being an every-week starter. He understands the system, has the pedigree and -- most importantly -- has the trust of O’Brien.

Could the Mahomes-to-Houston story be a smoke screen? If Mahomes is available when the Texans are called to the clock, will they pass up his long-term potential for short-term gains? Many feel the answer is yes to both questions.

The Los Angeles Chargers have done their due diligence on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Several teams are concerned that Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey is too much of a straight-line defender and can only play in limited schemes. They compare Humphrey’s playing style to former Tide cornerback Dee Milliner, who was selected by the New York Jets with the ninth pick of the 2013 draft.

Milliner played just 21 games over the past four years due to a variety of injuries. He was barely effective in a handful of those games and was regularly pummeled by opponents.

Offensive lineman Dan Feeney is visiting the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams this week. He’s already been on visits to see the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.

If Feeney doesn’t slide into the late part of Round 1, I expect him to be off the board within the first half-dozen picks of the second round.