Even though the Texans traded up to get former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, the initial thought was that 2017 would be a redshirt year, unless both Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are injured or completely ineffective. While Watson has yet to topple both of the guys who were believed to be in front of him, he has picked off one of them.
The initial depth chart issued by the Texans shows that Watson is the No. 2 quarterback, behind Savage and in front of Weeden. Although every depth chart is subject to change (and given that coaches routinely will downplay the significance of them), Watson is unofficially the official backup to Savage. Which means that, if Savage gets injured (again) or struggles at all, Watson is on deck to make his debut.
Of course, no amount of praise from his current coach or his college coach will justify making the jump to No. 1 if the locker room isn’t behind it. And with receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is in a contract year, putting his eggs in the Savage basket, the veteran will need to lose the job before Watson can finish earning it.
Another high-profile Texans rookie has yet to do much depth-chart climbing. Third-round running back D'Onta Foreman, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last year for the Texas Longhorns, has landed in the cluster of “other” at tailback, behind Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, and Tyler Ervin.