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DeMeco Ryans: Texans' No. 2 pick doesn't need to be 'savior'
National Football League

DeMeco Ryans: Texans' No. 2 pick doesn't need to be 'savior'

Updated Apr. 12, 2023 3:10 p.m. ET

The Houston Texans have two picks in the top half of the 2023 NFL Draft (No. 2 and 12), but head coach DeMeco Ryans isn't expecting either selection, specifically the No. 2 pick, to turn the franchise around overnight.

Ryan explained on Tuesday why it's "unfair" to expect a high draft pick to be a "savior."

"It's exciting for us to have the No. 2 pick, but also at the same time, there is no pressure where a young man is picked," Ryans said. "I think it's unfair to ask a guy just because you're picked No. 2 overall, you have to come in and you're the face of our franchise and you're the leader. That's unfair to the guy. I'm not going to put that type of weight on the shoulders of whoever that is that we pick. That's not what we're anticipating. That's not what we're expecting them to do.

"We're expecting them to come in, be a great teammate, work hard, be deliberate in what you're doing and have a mindset to get better each and every day. That's the mindset, no matter if it's pick two or the last pick of the draft. Really doesn't matter when you get picked. Leaders, those guys will grow based on our team. Each team is different. We have leaders in our locker room already, so I'm not asking a guy to come in and be this savior for our team. We're asking him to come in and put his head down and just work."

Houston is expected to select a quarterback with the No. 2 pick. The list of QBs slated to go in the opening round of the draft include Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's CJ Stroud, Florida's Anthony Richardson and Kentucky's Will Levis.

FOX Sports AFC South reporter Ben Arthur has Houston taking Young with the No. 2 pick in a recent mock draft.

The Carolina Panthers, who traded up to secure the top selection in the draft, are expected to take a QB as well.

Davis Mills has started 26 games under center for the Texans over the past two seasons. The former third-round pick out of Stanford has a 5-19-1 record as the team's starter, while completing 64% of his passes for 5,782 yards, 33 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions.

Houston also signed career backup Case Keenum to a two-year deal this offseason. The 35-year-old Keenum began his NFL career with the Texans back in 2012. He is expected to add a veteran presence to the team's QB room and could compete with Mills for the starting role if the organization wanted to allow their presumed rookie QB time to develop and learn from a trusted veteran.

"With the quarterback position, it's all about the guy," Ryans said. "We talk about a rookie quarterback, a veteran quarterback, it doesn't matter. What's the makeup of the guy? Is he worthy to start for your team? That's all that matters. It doesn't matter where the guy is in his career. Is he a rookie, third year, fourth year? Who is the best guy, the right guy for our team? We don't know that right now."

The Texans went 3-13-1 last season, good for 31st in the NFL and the second consecutive season selecting in the top three of the draft. The team averaged 283.5 total yards and 17.0 points per game. Defensively, the Texans surrendered 379.5 total yards (30th) and 24.7 points (27th) per game.

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