Texans QB coach Pep Hamilton provided insights on Davis Mills prior to 2021 NFL draft

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When the Houston Texans drafted Davis Mills with their 67th overall pick during the 2021 NFL Draft, the selection of the Stanford prodigy was puzzling. The Texans used their first pick in the draft on an unproven prospect who only played in 14 colleague games in a span of three years (2018-2020).

Mills’ lack of college experience on his resume may not be enough to validate the Texans’ decision of drafting the 22-year-old quarterback to the general public. But first-year head coach David Culley received his validation from Texans quarterbacks coach, Pep Hamilton.

“We had some insight on him because of Pep,” Culley said during a Zoom press conference on May 15. “There’s just a comfort level in knowing when you draft a guy like that and he’s had some things happen to him during his career because of the Pac-12 with the COVID situation.”

Despite spending the previous season as the quarterback coach with the Los Angeles Chargers, Hamilton became familiar with Mills through his relationship with Stanford’s head coach David Shaw. Hamilton served as Shaw’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for two seasons at Stanford (2011 & 2012) before transitioning to the NFL with the Colts in 2013.

Culley said the insights Hamilton shared with the Texans during the draft process was “exactly what Houston was looking for” in a project quarterback.

During the first few days of rookie training camp, Culley has been impressed by Mills’ throwing accuracy — which was a tremendous selling point from Hamilton. Culley described Mills as smart, and someone who excels in play-action.

If not for the PAC-12’s fall cancelation due to COVID-19, perhaps Mills would have played his first full season of college football.

He appeared in five of the Cardinals’ six regular-season games last season, where he threw for 1,508 yards while completing 66 percent of his pass attempts. Mills’ career at Stanford got off to a slow start due to a knee injury that sidelined him for all but two games during his freshman year.

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