Jim Plunkett. John Elway. Andrew Luck. … Davis Mills?
One of these things is not like the other.
Stanford doesn’t produce top-flight NFL quarterbacks often, but when they do, they usually make the league with great fanfare. While Mills was once the promised prince coming out of high school, limited tape and playing time in college made him something of a wild card on Sundays.
The Texans, entangled with the Deshaun Watson sexual assault situation, would select Mills in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he would get his first action in Week 2, replacing an injured Tyrod Taylor vs. the Browns.
Mills’ journey from a Georgia kid to the NFL is an interesting one:
Where did Davis Mills go to college?
Mills, a five-star quarterback out of high school, played quarterback for the Stanford Cardinal between 2018 and 2020. Mills was a redshirt freshman in 2017 and started just 11 games (13 games played total) in four years on the squad.
Of course, Stanford is no stranger to signal callers in the NFL. Three Stanford quarterbacks have been taken with the No. 1 overall pick since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970: Jim Plunkett (1971, Patriots), John Elway (1983, Broncos) and Andrew Luck (2012, Colts). Mills is the highest Stanford QB to be drafted since Luck in 2012, and the first Stanford QB to be taken since Kevin Hogan in 2016.
Mills tossed 3,468 yards total with 18 touchdowns to eight interceptions between 2019 and 2020.
Stanford QBs in the NFL
Since 1970, 16 QBs have been selected in the NFL Draft: Three have been selected No. 1 overall, while there’s a mixed bag of who was selected after that. John Elway, drafted No. 1 overall in 1983, would win two Super Bowls with the Broncos and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Jim Plunkett, who was drafted by the Patriots, also shared similar success in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Raiders, though his Hall of Fame candidacy is a debatable subject. Plunkett did win the Heisman Trophy in 1970.
Andrew Luck, the most recent of the No.1 Stanford picks, shockingly retired in 2019 after a brief NFL career with the Colts, with injuries taking a toll on his body.
Mills is the fifth-highest quarterback selection out of Stanford, behind the three No. 1 overall picks and Guy Benjamin, who was drafted 97th overall by the Dolphins in 1978. Benjamin had a brief career, playing with the Dolphins, Saints and 49ers across six seasons in the league.
Here’s the complete list of drafted Stanford QBs since the merger: