Drafted: ROUND: 1 - Pick Number: 2 (HOU)
Draft Profile: BioC.J. Stroud from Rancho Cucamonga High School was rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and handed a 4-star grade by 247 Sports. After high school, Stroud was heavily recruited but ultimately chose to join Ohio State.
After redshirting his freshman year Stroud saw action in 12 games in 2021 for the Buckeyes as he amassed 4424 yards on 443 attempts with a completion percent of 71.6 for an average of 10.0 yards per pass, with a huge 44 TDs and just 4 Ints, while taking 12 sacks, and a QB rating of 130.8.
After leading the statistically best offense in the nation in 2021 at Ohio State (No. 1 nationally in total offense (561.2 yards per game) and scoring offense (45.7 ppg), and No. 3 in passing offense (380.9 ypg) season Stroud was awarded the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
In 2022 as a junior he played in 14 games as he passed for an outstanding 3684 yards on 390 attempts with a completion percent of 65.9 for an average of 9.4 yards per pass, with 41 TDs, while also taking 14 sacks, and putting up an outstanding QB rating of 125. Led the nation in pass efficiency rating in 2022 (177.7) and was second in 2021 (186.6)
Honors & awards2022
Heisman Trophy finalist, Big Ten’s Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year; First-team All-Big Ten (coaches and media); two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week; Team captain
Ranked second nationally in TD passes in 2022 (41) and third in 2021 (44)
Became the first QB in Big Ten history to have back-to-back seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes
Heisman Trophy finalist; Big Ten’s Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year; First-team All-Big Ten (coaches and media); Seven-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and two-time Offensive Player of the Week
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Traditional old-school smart, pocket passer at 6-3 and 218 pounds, with smarts and a great, feel for the game- should have no problem transitioning to the NFL
- Very smart signal-caller who is a natural leader with great instincts and the ability to quickly cycle through his reads
- Good zip and excellent ball placement on the quick slant. Elite touch down the seam and on post-corner, flag routes to attack the defense vertically and horizontally.
- Incredibly productive quarterback with elite intangibles - who broke Rose Bowl single-game record with 573 passing yards in a come-from-behind victory over Utah
- Brave QB who isn't phased by pressure, will be willing to take a big hit when passing
- Has all the required arm strength to drive the ball through tight windows up to 20 yards downfield. Spreads the ball around to multiple receivers.
- Rhythm passer, who gets the ball out quickly, making split-second decisions. Good short to intermediate-level accuracy, demonstrating the ball placement to allow receivers to run after the catch.
- Sprays the ball anywhere on the field, especially when given a pocket from which to deliver. Will step up into the pocket while looking downfield, reset his feet and deliver.
- Athletic - possesses very good vision balance, some elusiveness, and deceptive speed
- Possess an NFL-level arm. Gets the ball from one hash to the opposite sideline in a hurry. Has the zip to hit tight windows on short and intermediate throws.
- Great accuracy overall, including excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers, placing the ball slightly in front to lead receivers to potential yardage after the catch.
- Against Georgia in the college semi-final Stroud displayed impressive escapability against a heavy rush
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Despite having good timed speed and agility for a QB, has often proved surprisingly immobile and unable to escape a heavy rush
- Has played in a very QB-friendly scheme and has been surrounded by NFL-level talent, during both his seasons at Ohio State - he remains mostly untested against serious adversity
- Had a few struggles earlier on in the season - however, this is to be expected at the start of any QBs college career
- Suffered with some inconsistency issues when under a heavy rush, this could become a major issue at the next level where he won't have the benefit behind a top-level line
- Doesn't create much outside the pocket - and as a result, rushers have an easy time without having to be concerned with Stroud escaping
Player ComparisonJustin Herbert
Scouting Report: SummaryStroud has the size, arm strength, elite overall accuracy, ability to throw from the pocket, and a pretty much perfect release you look for in a prototypical NFL QB. He's put up sensational numbers while starting for the Buckeyes and won an almost endless series of awards.
He isn't the perfect prospect however and has some issues with his game. Stroud isn't elusive in any way and struggles to get outside the pocket while trying to escape the pass rush. This is demonstrated by a subpar QB rating of just 76.0 when under pressure. He however did put some of these doubts to bed after a fantastic CFP semifinal where he displayed a new previously hidden elusiveness.
Stroud will likely be taken in the top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft and could quite easily become a pro-bowl player given the right situation, however, could equally struggle on a poor team as he's not shown he's the kind of player who can win games by himself.
C.J. Stroud percentiles vs other Quarterback's (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
Update - 04/19/2023Stroud impressed at the combine as he put on a passing clinic for NFL scouts. He demonstrated he's easily the best pure passer in the class.
How other scouting services rate C.J. Stroud (Overall Rank)
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