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Deshaun Watson has made it clear that he wants a fresh start outside of Houston and that leaves the Texans in an unenviable situation. However, it can benefit them long term if they execute at a high level. 

The price tag to acquire the fourth-year quarterback is expected to be significant and the interest in Watson's services should create a (virtual) line around the building, which will only drive up the price. The majority of the trade return will be spent bolstering other areas of the roster, such as running back, edge rusher, cornerback and wide receiver. However, the most important decision to be made in a post-Watson era is at the quarterback position. 

In a sense, there are only a handful of teams that could construct an enticing offer to pry the Clemson product away from the organization that drafted him in 2017 and chief among them are the Jets and Dolphins; picking No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. 

Theoretically speaking, those teams would likely offer incumbent signal callers Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa in a potential trade. Houston could decline those offers depending on their evaluations of those players, as well as the options available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Here's what is known: the Jaguars are expected to draft Clemson's Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall, leaving BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance as the next best at the position. Personally, if I am trading a player like Watson, I am doing everything in my power to work out a fair deal with New York to ensure that I get my highest graded player from that group. I do not want to compete with Atlanta, Detroit, Carolina and others for the right to choose my preferred quarterback. The success of that player will be tied to new general manager Nick Caserio until the end of time. 

If the Texans decide to draft a quarterback, who would be the best fit? 

Zach Wilson, BYU

Wilson offers the traits to succeed early but also the promise of continued development. He should be the choice depending on how he interviews and the level of understanding that he shows when asked to break down defenses. The Utah native likes to move the pocket and is capable of throwing from different arm angles; a skill that Patrick Mahomes has made popular in recent years even though Aaron Rodgers has been doing it much longer. Wilson is capable of picking up yardage with his feet and possesses a strong arm guided by a quick release. 

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Fields showcased his potential in the College Football Playoff semifinal, but that game was sandwiched between two that left a lot to be desired. The potential is obvious but, as much as the Georgia native wants to be a pocket passer, it behooves him to incorporate more designed runs into his game. Consistency is an issue and, right or wrong, he will be hurt by Dwayne Haskins' early failures in the league. Although, I would push back and argue that those are two entirely different situations. Fields needs to make better decisions more consistently and know where the underneath linebackers are at all times. He has had more than a few passes tipped at the line of scrimmage because his delivery is longer than average. There will not be any questions about his leadership though. If Houston wants a player that is going to provide some promise in Year 1, then the Ohio State product is the next best option behind Wilson. 

Trey Lance, North Dakota State

Lance is a bit more unpolished. He played one season of FCS football in 2019 and then had a one game showcase early this season against Central Arkansas. His issues are similar to Fields in that he often goes to his first read and there have been several passes tipped at the line of scrimmage. The Minnesota native has a strong arm and does a good job of driving balls downfield. He excels in motion and is capable of picking up yardage on the ground, which is almost a prerequisite in today's NFL. It could take him some time to reach his full potential and Houston may not be willing to offer that in the absence of a veteran quarterback capable of leading for a year. To the former Bison's credit, he has been working with former NFL offensive line coach Paul Alexander and others to learn blocking schemes and defensive alignments to flatten the learning curve of becoming a professional.

The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin April 29, so Houston has roughly three months to work out a trade and iron out a plan for their new franchise quarterback.