CJ Stroud 2023 NFL Draft Profile
The story of CJ Stroud. Where do I even begin? The 2023 NFL Draft is a mystery at the quarterback position and Stroud is very much at the forefront of that conversation. How should you feel about the Ohio State quarterback heading into the NFL? It’s time to review the CJ Stroud 2023 NFL Draft profile!
I am a firm believer that your scouting journey for any quarterback needs to start at the beginning. My first introduction to Stroud was at the Elite 11 camp back in 2019. Stroud won the MVP that year but it didn’t look like that was going to be the case in the early portion. DJ Uiagalelei left the competition early and Bryce Young was the star of the show. However, Stroud kept getting better and better and eventually won.
In the early stages of Stroud’s career, he was just kinda there but did his job. Stroud was a four-star recruit out of Rancho Cucamonga and was the third guy in the cycle behind DJ and Young. His HS and early college days resembled a guy who could make throws but never truly wowed you. His recruiting profile of Teddy Bridgewater felt really accurate at the time. Stroud was accurate and got the ball to where it needed to be but where was the juice?
The thing with Stroud that’s important to note is the fact that he just kept getting better and better. Each and every time he raised his game. There was a time when Stroud looked destined to transfer out after Quinn Ewers made his Ohio State commitment. Stroud struggled out of the gate as a freshman and immediately turned the corner to the point where he made Ewers leave for Texas.
Stroud eventually elevated his game to the point expected from any Buckeye quarterback. Stroud put his team in title contention and became a Heisman finalist. Stroud had his lulls during the 2022 season and the Ohio State question kept popping in your head. His supporting cast is just better than everyone else’s in the Big 10. In reality, Stroud should have been more dominating than he really was. We remember the Northwestern game. There were others like it.
Of course, then the Georgia game happened. It was everything you wanted to see and more. The rushing ability was finally there. Was he just not able to do it or did Ohio State protect him from unnecessary shots until the games really mattered? Maybe it’s the latter. Either way, the guy was unbelievable despite the loss and quieted the concern about his rushing ability.
After the Combine I have moved Stroud to my number one quarterback. That was some of the most flawless footwork I’ve ever seen at the combine. If you asked me what the drill should look like just turn on Stroud. It just had everything you wanted to see. Knee bend, driving through the back leg, on the toes and light on the feet. It was an absolute clinic.
Stroud has always had the ability to be accurate with the football. It’s always been the starting point to who he is. He’s the modern dropback passer that gets the ball from point A to point B. He’s really good at it to. Over time in my eyes he has become mechanically flawless in his approach. It’s not just point A to point B anymore. The downfield accuracy has improved because of it. We’re now seeing more big time throws compared to when Stroud first started for Ohio State. I do think something has clicked for him and when you’re this mechanically sound it’s hard to hate on his floor.
The only thing you really worry about is the fact that his life was so easy at Ohio State. The best receiver in the world is on his team. He also has open throws any time he wants to and they’re his first read. The thing I would say is his footwork is so good that it’s hard to see how he can’t translate into a modern offense. More than mobile enough to run those boots.
The arm strength is all there for me. It’s not a generational gun but I think we have seen more than enough. It’s a really solid A- to B+ pure arm juice for me. I don’t see him having any issues making the neccessary throws he wants to. Throws toward the numbers on the run? He can do it.
The completion percentage dipped this year but we’re still looking at career marks of 69.3%. A really good sign of who he is. Also sports an 85-12 TD to INT ratio over the last two years as a starter. No concerns from a production standpoint. We have big numbers against good competition too. Bowl game the year prior was excellent as well.
At the end of the day I have a solid first round ground on CJ Stroud. He represents what the modern NFL starting quarterback should look like. The ability to be a pure pocket passer while also possessing the mobility to create positive yardage outside of the framwork of the play. Stroud has the abiilty to become one of the ten best quarterback on the planet while having clean enough technique to where his floor feels manageable enough where you can build a winning product around him.