CJ Stroud Has Officially Extinguished The “Ohio State QBs Can’t Hack It In The NFL” Hot Take

CJ Stroud Houston Texans
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hand up. I was one of the MORONS who had Bryce Young (ever so slightly) ahead of CJ Stroud in my pre-draft quarterback rankings. Stroud allegedly had a bad score on some cognitive test I’d never heard of that carried alleged credibility around the NFL. It gave me some pause.

Here’s a guy who was coming from an Ohio State program that is famous for producing first-round wide receivers and infamous for ill-preparing their QBs for the NFL. Didn’t seem to bode well.

Nevertheless, I still had Stroud as a top-eight overall prospect, with the ceiling of a rich man’s Dak Prescott. Which would be easily a top-10 NFL QB.

Stroud might be better than that. He just marched the Houston Texans on a go-ahead TD drive to win against the Bucs, and set the single-game rookie record for passing yards.

For a young man who had the luxury of massive, schemed-up throwing windows to a bunch of future NFL stars at Ohio State, Stroud plays with so much anticipation. He throws receivers open at the professional level better than most. He’s started only eight games. Now has 14 TD passes to only one interception.

…And it’s not like Stroud is dinking and dunking his way down the field.

Whether the scuttlebutt on the street is true or not that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper demanded the team to draft Young No. 1 overall or not matters little. Bottom line is, it looks like the Panthers drafted the wrong guy.

I personally liked Anthony Richardson more than Young and Stroud. It’ll be a while before we know much about Richardson due to injury.

You don’t want to jump to conclusions too early in most cases. However, Stroud’s immediate greatness is undeniable. It looks like he’ll be the best QB from his class — and I include Will Levis in that despite his hot start.

All the Buckeye fans who’ve had to hear about how bad their QBs are in the NFL, all the Justin Fields truthers who haven’t been vindicated through almost three full seasons? They gotta be feeling pretty darn good right now.

Speaking of truthers, I wonder how those who stump abrasively hard for Kenny Pickett feel right about now.

Here’s more on the aforementioned cognitive test that threatened to harm Stroud’s draft stock, which I covered for my previous employer in (*pats self on back*) quite thoughtful, objective detail.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock