The 2023 NFL Draft is just around the corner, so the next wave of football talent is a step closer to making it to the big stage. Rebuilding organizations are likely valuing their first-round picks even more with so many intriguing prospects available. That is the case for the Houston Texans.
In 2022, the Texans finished 3-13-1 and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight year. One of those wins came in the final week of the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts. Houston was securing the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft with a loss but a last-minute touchdown and a successful two-point conversion moved the team down to No. 2.
Although the team does not own the top selection, Houston should still get one of the best players available. Also, with so many needs on the roster, it could certainly find a game-changing piece in April. One name that emerges as a possibility for the quarterback job is CJ Stroud out of Ohio State.
With that being said, here is why CJ Stroud is the perfect fit for the Texans with the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Why C.J. Stroud is the perfect fit for the Houston Texans’ offense
In 2022, Stroud completed 66.2% of his passes for 3,340 yards and 37 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He also added 74 rushing yards. He led the Buckeyes to an 11-2 record, which included an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
For his performances, Stroud earned Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten honors. This marked the second year in a row that he received All-American and all-conference recognitions.
In three seasons at Ohio State, the quarterback went 21-4 as a starter with a Big Ten Championship Game appearance in 2021. He completed 69.3% of his passes for 7,775 yards and 81 touchdowns versus 12 picks. On the ground, he also recorded 102 yards and a score.
Most notably, he was a two-time finalist for the Heisman Trophy during his time as a Buckeye. He finished in fourth place in 2021 and third in 2022.
Many consider Stroud one of the best quarterbacks in the 2023 class. Projections have him as early as No. 2, often trailing Alabama’s Bryce Young.
As for the Texans, they could certainly go for a quarterback in the 2023 draft. They are coming off their second season without Deshaun Watson, the first with him not on the roster.
This past season, Houston had three different starting quarterbacks. David Mills (15 games), Kyle Allen (one) and Jeff Driskel (one) shared the job. Mills, who started most of the season, completed 61% of his passes, down from the 66.8% he had in his rookie campaign. He also led the league with 15 interceptions.
Because of that, players such as Young, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Stroud himself are likely on Houston’s radar. What makes Stroud a more probable selection is that the Chicago Bears could be trading their No. 1 pick. Should that happen, the team that acquires that pick will likely select the top quarterback available, which many consider being Young.
The Texans would then take the second-best quarterback on the board. Even though Richardson is rising following his performance at the NFL Combine, Houston probably has studied Stroud more due to his early projections and visibility at Ohio State.
All things considered, C.J. Stroud is the perfect player for the Texans at No. 2 in the 2023 NFL Draft. He would address a major need on the roster with the potential of becoming a franchise quarterback right away.