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2023 NFL Draft QB Rookie Review: C.J. Stroud Is Proving That He Is For Real

Reviewing The Top 2023 NFL QB Draft Picks (C.J. Stroud)

Below are all available Football Scout 365 pre-draft and post-draft videos related to former Ohio State QB and current Houston Texan QB C.J. Stroud. I also included his 2023 Football Scout 365 predraft scouting report and player comparisons.

Profile:

  • Position: Quarterback

  • College: Ohio State

  • Height: 6’3”

  • Weight: 214 pounds

  • Drafted 2nd overall by the Houston Texans in the 2023 NFL Draft


NFL Career Start:

  • He accumulated 1,212 passing yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions in the first four NFL games.

  • Named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for the first month of the 2023 season.

  • He became the fifth offensive player in Texans' history to receive this honor.

  • Emerged as a favorite for the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2023.

Scouting Report:

  • Known for accuracy and a strong arm, capable of making tight-window throws.

  • Excels in throwing outside the numbers with precise ball placement.

  • Exhibits excellent arm talent, with the ability to throw with touch at all levels.

  • Responds well to pressure but could utilize his mobility more to extend plays.


Player Comparisons:

  • Justin Herbert

  • Joe Burrow

  • Matthew Stafford


Pre-Draft Concerns:

  • Scored 18 on the S2 cognition test, below the benchmark of 80, causing concern among NFL teams and analysts.

  • Some teams potentially removed him from their draft boards due to the low cognition test score.

  • His pre-draft journey highlighted resilience and sparked debate on the importance of cognitive test scores versus on-field performance.


Assessment of C.J. Stroud Based on Early NFL Performance and Scouting Report:

C.J. Stroud's early performance in the NFL indicates that his on-field play has effectively countered pre-draft concerns about his cognitive test scores. His ability to deliver a high volume of passing yards and touchdowns without interceptions demonstrates his aptitude for accuracy and strong decision-making—key attributes noted in his scouting report. The lack of interceptions also suggests that, in practice, his cognitive processing on the field is not impeding his performance. His recognition as the Offensive Rookie of the Month and positioning as a favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award further attests to his capacity to translate his college success to the professional level, akin to the player comparisons with Herbert, Burrow, and Stafford. This performance may also contribute to the ongoing discourse about the relevance of cognitive tests in assessing future NFL success.


  • Arm Strength: Stroud's compiled passing yards suggest that he's utilizing his strong arm effectively, possibly executing challenging throws that showcase his ability to make big plays downfield.

  • Mobility: Without specific mention of rushing stats, the lack of interceptions may imply smart decision-making, which could include knowing when to use his mobility to evade pressure or extend plays.

  • Mechanics: The significant yardage and number of touchdowns without interceptions hint at proficient mechanics, indicating that Stroud is able to execute the Texans' playbook with a high level of technical skill.

  • Awareness and Anticipation: Stroud's clean interception record suggests strong on-field awareness and the ability to anticipate defensive actions, indicating that his cognitive processing during games is effective.

  • Ball Placement: A successful early record, including touchdowns and high completion rates, points to accurate ball placement, which is crucial for connecting effectively with receivers and avoiding turnovers.

  • Playstyle & Scheme Fit: Stroud's adaptability and performance suggest that he's well-suited to the Texans' offensive system, which likely takes advantage of his strengths as highlighted in his scouting report.

  • Developmental Grade and Ceiling Potential: The immediate success Stroud has shown in the NFL, particularly being named Rookie of the Month, suggests that he has not only met but may be exceeding the high expectations set for him.


In conclusion, C.J. Stroud's early NFL performances have validated the strengths observed in his scouting report. His arm strength, mechanics, and ball placement are contributing to his success with the Houston Texans. His awareness and anticipation appear to be assets despite pre-draft concerns about cognitive testing. Stroud's adaptation to the professional level and his recognition as an outstanding rookie indicate a potentially higher ceiling than initially projected.

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