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Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair may be tipping his hand a bit too much, too early, but he’s just stating the obvious when he said his team needs better play at the quarterback position to succeed.

Speaking with media at a Super Bowl LI press conference Wednesday, McNair made it clear the Texans cannot continue with the status quo, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

We need to have reliable play at quarterback,” McNair said. “We don’t need a superstar there, but it needs to be reliable play that won’t take anything away from us.”

Brian Hoyer was unbelievably atrocious in the wild card round last month, turning the ball over five times in Houston’s devastating 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. His debacle of a performance made it impossible for the Texans to win the game at home, despite a valiant effort by J.J. Watt and his defensive teammates.

Houston’s roster contains some phenomenal talent on both sides of the ball. In particular, what DeAndre Hopkins was able to do this past season, playing with Hoyer, was — putting it mildly — impressive. He caught 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in just his second season as a pro.

One has to imagine Hopkins would be all the more potent if a better-than-average quarterback were tossing him the ball.

Looking ahead to the draft, McNair is excited by the prospect of potentially landing one of the top quarterbacks:

“There are a number of quarterbacks out there, college quarterbacks coming out and I think we have a good chance at getting one of them,” McNair said, via Wilson. “There are four or five of them who look like they have enough talent and size and athletic ability. I don’t know any reason why we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The Texans made the decision to forego a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, selecting Jadeveon Clowney. While it’s too early to say Clowney can’t live up to that billing, it’s not hard to imagine how much better shape the organization would be in if it had drafted a top quarterback instead.

The top passers from that class — Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater — all look like potential long-term stars. With that in mind, it’s understandable that McNair wouldn’t want to see his team miss out on a top signal-caller this year.

It’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out for the Texans this year. Sitting at No. 22 overall, it’s hard to imagine one of the top few passers would still be available, considering all the other teams that need to find a franchise passer.

However, given the fact that there isn’t a consensus top quarterback in this upcoming class, it’s possible that Paxton Lynch, Carson Wentz or Jared Goff could fall into the middle of the first round. If that did happen, McNair, general manager Rich Smith and the rest of Houston’s brass would be smart to take a gamble on a trade to move into position to land their quarterback.