By signing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and trading Matt Schaub to Oakland, the Texans have given another indication they plan to use their first-round pick on a quarterback.

Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel are candidates to be the first overall pick in the May 8 draft.

If the Texans like more than one of them equally - doubtful, by the way - it's conceivable they could trade down two or three spots and get one they covet.

We'd be naïve to think general manager Rick Smith signed Fitzpatrick, 31, to a two-year, $7.5 million contract to be the full-time starter next season. They signed him to keep the seat warm until coach Bill O'Brien and quarterbacks coach George Godsey believe the rookie is ready.

Whether that's the opening game or midway through the season, a quarterback drafted first overall won't play until he's ready. He has to compete with veterans and earn the job. There will be no rushing the rookie because O'Brien has a five-year contract and a patient owner in Bob McNair.

One reason the Texans wanted Fitzpatrick, a Harvard graduate entering his 10th NFL season, was his reputation for being a terrific team guy and his willingness to work with younger quarterbacks like Tennessee's Jake Locker last season.