The wait is finally over.
Prolific Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud’s draft stock was the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with pundits questioning his S2 test scores, dual-threat capability, and overall football acumen. It appears those hurdles weren’t too large for the Houston Texans, who selected him with the 2nd pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He was the 2nd quarterback taken, behind Alabama’s Bryce Young.
With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 @NFLDraft, the @HoustonTexans select C.J. Stroud!@NewEraCap | #WeAreTexans
📺: 2023 #NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/D3EqkrKdIw pic.twitter.com/H1kg0XhSCa
— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2023
Stroud, who spent three years in Columbus with two years of starting experience under his belt, was a Heisman finalist in 2022 after throwing for 3,688 yards and 41 touchdowns, leading Ohio State to a College Football Playoff berth against Georgia. In the semifinal game versus the Bulldogs, Stroud threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns (with zero interceptions), as the Buckeyes came up just short when Noah Ruggles wasn’t even close on a game-winning field goal attempt.
All told, Stroud passed for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns (to just 12 interceptions) in those two starting campaigns, leading a prolific Ohio State passing attack. A “knock” on Stroud has been the talent surrounding him, as Ohio State wide receivers such as Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. have proven to be elite playmakers on the outside. Nonetheless, Ohio State fans and coaches alike would argue that these same conversations were had surrounding Justin Fields, who was ultimately drafted by the Chicago Bears and blossomed in his second year in the NFL.
Stroud now joins the Texans, and will be surrounded by Robert Woods and Devin Singletary on the outside and in the backfield. He is the third straight Ohio State starting quarterback to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, joining Fields and Dwayne Haskins.