Davis Mills 2021 Fantasy & Dynasty Outlook with Texans
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Davis Mills
Davis Mills Fantasy Profile
Davis Mills Fantasy Fit with Texans
I’m much more interested in Mills than I thought I would be before the draft, and it’s due mostly to landing spot.
With his early Round 3 draft capital, Mills is inherently likely at some point to get the chance to start — and with the Texans that opportunity might come as early as 2021 because of quarterback Deshaun Watson’s uncertain status.
Under normal circumstances, I’d think of Mills as a long-term developmental prospect with little-to-no chance of seeing playing time for two-plus years. But in the present situation, Mills has very real odds to play significant snaps relatively soon.
Whether Watson is suspended or traded, another quarterback could open the 2021 season as the starter. And although the Texans have Tyrod Taylor on the roster, he has proven himself to be especially adept at moving aside for younger quarterbacks over the past few years.
If Watson is out, Mills probably won’t beat out Taylor to open the year, but Mills could overtake Taylor in the middle of the season.
Mills has little rushing ability, so he still has little fantasy appeal for 2021 redraft leagues, but in dynasty he will be someone to draft late in two-quarterback and superflex leagues and monitor on waivers in one-quarterback leagues.
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Note: The following was written before the NFL Draft.
Mills: More like “Meh-lls,” amirite?
I’m tempted to end the blurb there, but I’ll persevere.
Mills was the No. 1 pocket-passing recruit in the 2017 class, so he has talent. His arm strength is sufficient, and his size is prototypical. He looks like an NFL quarterback when he’s in the pocket and has time to throw to a receiver who breaks open.
Just when I was getting frustrated and ready to turn off the tape, Davis Mills goes and does something like this and totally redeems himself!
Cover 2 hole shot to the field (ish)… LFG pic.twitter.com/LsPSUB3sAW
— Tim Jenkins (@TJenkinsElite) February 18, 2021
But he has no speed and little rushing instinct. He has decent pocket maneuverability thanks to his excellent size-adjusted agility (6.95-second three cone), but he has poor overall pocket awareness.
He stares down receivers and is careless with the ball: Over the past two years, he had 17 turnover-worthy plays (per Pro Football Focus). Those turned into eight interceptions in 13 games … just 13 games.
And that’s the big problem with Mills: He hasn’t progressed as a quarterback because he has gotten almost no playing time.
He redshirted his first year at Stanford, and then attempted just two passes as a reserve in his second year. As a redshirt sophomore, he started six games in place of injured starter K.J. Costello, who transferred after the season, so Mills in 2020 was slated for a full allotment of playing time — but then Stanford played only six games because of the pandemic, and Mills missed the season opener in the COVID-19 protocol.
In total, Mills has played in just 14 college games (11 starts) and passed for only 3,468 yards and 18 touchdowns (with eight interceptions). Those numbers are far too low for a guy who is four years removed from high school and turning 23 as a rookie.
He’s a developmental prospect, and with his lack of rushing ability, he will draw limited fantasy interest unless he goes in Round 2. And even if that happens, he will be little more than a speculative long-term stash.
NFL Prospect Comp: Jarrett Stidham with less college experience
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.