The Houston Texans left everyone wondering what direction they would do in the 2023 NFL Draft. They had plenty of directions to go with the second overall and 12th overall picks after the Carolina Panthers took Bryce Young. When it came down to the moment, they drafted Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick.
Stroud balled out for the Buckeyes in his two seasons as a starter, recording 8,123 passing yards, 85 passing touchdowns and a 69.3 completion percentage over 25 games. He placed in the top four of Heisman Trophy voting in each season and now will look to establish the face of the Texans. General manager Nick Caserio explained the traits that made him so appealing.
Nick Caserio on CJ Stroud: pic.twitter.com/7qpyroBhue
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 28, 2023
“He’s, I would say, as competitive a player. Has an edge about him — in a good way,” Caserio said of the Texans’ new quarterback. “Loves football. Wants to compete, wants to be great. Good size. Comes from a good program… C.J.’s been a productive player, he’s been an accurate player.
“Certainly has a long way to go — I think he’ll admit that,” Caserio continued. “There’s no timetable on any player so the goal is for the player, whoever they are, to come in, work hard and earn their role on the team, whatever that entails. He’s a player that our coaches spent a lot of time on, spent a lot of time with, had a lot of constructive discussions. We felt that that was the best decision for us to make.”
The concerns with Stroud stem from how well he will adapt to the NFL after having the perfect support system at Ohio State. The team’s scheme and talent — which included fellow 2023 first-round picks Paris Johnson Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, as well as a few others who were first-rounders in 2022 — will be night and day compared to the lowly Texans. The jump will be tough but Stroud is built to withstand the pressure and eventually thrive.
James Palmer of NFL Network said that multiple teams were impressed with the competitive intensity Stroud possesses. He stands at 6-foot-3 and is a strong passer from the pocket with great accuracy. Those traits suggest that he can develop into a very solid quarterback at the professional level.
The Texans not only drafted their potential cornerstone on offense but also on defense in the 2023 NFL Draft. They made a huge trade to acquire the third overall pick and selected Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr.
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