Stanford head coach David Shaw: Davis Mills could start for Texans absent Deshaun Watson


(SportsRadio 610) -- Stanford head football coach David Shaw knows the newest Texans quarterback as well as anyone our radio station could find.

Shaw coached Davis Mills the past four years at Stanford, and helped develop him into the third round pick Houston used to take him No. 67 overall last Friday.

But as Shaw pointed out when he joined In The Loop on Monday, there is a reason Mills was the top quarterback prospect out of high school.

Mills' accuracy and decision-making are his best attributes as a quarterback, according to Shaw. The coach also talked about being at Mills' high school state championship game when he suffered a serious knee injury, and hurt the same knee again in college.

Shaw said Mills is completely healthy, something NFL coaches and scouts were able to see in his pre-draft workouts.

"In high school we saw his athleticism, his accuracy, his arm strength, his leadership, all of the things you're looking for and you never know how that's going to develop in college," Shaw said. "What you're getting is a tough, smart, accurate, athletic guy that has command. He will master the offense as soon as possible. When you see him play, the play that you think a quaterback should make on the (NFL) level, he'll make it."

Shaw acknowledged how this could sound like a broad statement, so he specified Mills' third-down production, his performance in the red zone when throwing windows are tight, when he throws a strike under pressure.

"I will put that film up against any quarterback in this draft," Shaw said.

The Stanford coach said he believes Mills is ready to play right away, and even presented the idea he could start for the Texans this season if Deshaun Watson doesn't play, for any number of reasons.

"Most people wanted Davis Mills to come back (to college) because if he did come back, he's probably going to be one of the top two quarterbacks in America, and a potential top 15 pick. So, this year's third-round pick -- if he plays up to his ability, which we all believe he will, is going to be like getting next year's to 15 quarterback. ...

"He's healthy and he feels great. And if Deshaun Watson isn't there, for whatever reason, I'm not sure he is going to be sitting on the sidelines. He might be the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans, as opposed to being a college starting quarterback. So, in that way, it would have worked out. But do I think he's ready, do I think he's capable? The answer to both of those is yes."

Shaw also spoke to the significance of Texans' new quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, who along with Shaw coach Andrew Luck at Stanford, and was later his offensive coordinator with the Colts.

Last year, Hamilton coached quarterbacks for the Chargers with Tyrod Taylor and rookie standout Justin Herbert. Taylor and Hamilton are reuniting in Houston. The veteran is expected to start with Watson's future uncertain.

Hamilton, however, said he and Shaw have been talking about Mills for years, also noting they all speak the same football language.

Listen to In The Loop's entire interview with Shaw here:

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