C.J. Stroud 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
C.J. Stroud NFL Draft Introduction
As the starting quarterback for Ohio State Buckeyes, C.J. Stroud accomplished some remarkable feats that have placed him among the greats in college football history. In 2022 and 2021, Stroud was named the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the year and quarterback of the year, making him a two-time recipient of these awards. He is also the only two-time finalist of the Heisman Trophy in Ohio State’s history, an honor that was first given by the Heisman Trophy Trust in 1982.
He set a new Big Ten record by having consecutive seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes, with a total of 44 in 2022 and 41 in 2023. Despite a slow start in 2021, Stroud settled in and led one of the strongest offenses in college football for two seasons.
Stroud’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, and he has been recognized as one of the top players in the country. He was named a second-team All-American in 2022 by the Walter Camp Foundation, CBS Sports, and the American Football Coaches Association. In 2021, he earned third-team honors from the Associated Press, as well as freshman All-America laurels from The Athletic. In 2022, Stroud was also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award, and the Dave O’Brien Award.
Stroud’s impressive performance on the field has earned him five Big Ten individual awards, tying him for second all-time in conference history with Justin Fields and Orlando Pace. Only Braxton Miller, with seven awards, has received more.
C.J. Stroud is an exceptional talent, and the Ohio State quarterback was one of the best in school history. He has proven that he is a dynamic quarterback and has earned his place among the greats in college football history and set himself up as a top prospect in the 2023 NFL draft.
CJ Stroud forty yard dash- 4.75 seconds
Player Comparison- Joe Burrow
C.J. Stroud NFL Draft
Teams evaluation of Stroud compared to Bryce Young is one of the most intriguing things to keep an eye on as we approach the draft. Both players put up very impressive back to back seasons, had a high career pass efficiency rating and completion percentage, were two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, and were, respectively, some of the best in their program history.
In terms of production, Stroud finished neck and neck with Young through two full seasons. He led a prolific scoring offense that centered around him throwing touchdown passes. In the biggest game of his Ohio State career, Stroud lost but carved up a dominant Georgia defense in which he threw four touchdowns and 348 passing yards.
That single game put the Ohio State QB into the discussion to be the top offensive player in the draft. He showed that he could play against the best of the best in the SEC and silenced any of those questioning the slightly lesser talent he faced in the Big Ten. After the great performance, Stroud announced he wouldn’t be returning to Ohio State and instead would enter the NFL draft.
Scouting Report- Strengths
Stroud possesses an advantageous combination of size, passing skills, and mobility, making him a formidable player on the field. While his arm strength may not be considered top-notch, he excels at reading coverage and recognizing advantageous matchups, allowing his receivers to make plays on the ball. Stroud can flash as an anticipatory thrower and takes care of the ball, rarely putting it in danger. He has a good understanding of the rush and moves well within the pocket.
Stroud appears to be in full control of the offense and plays a key role in setting protections, locking routes, and calling audibles. He has a variety of skills at his disposal and knows when to use each one. He can surely run a total offense that can utilize all of his skills, possibly modeled similar to Jalen Hurts and the Eagles.
He had an exceptional performance in the 2021 Rose Bowl against Utah and the College Football Playoff when the Ohio State Buckeyes went up against Georgia, when the lights were the brightest.
Scouting Report- Weaknesses
However, Stroud has a tendency to drift away from pressure and can struggle under duress, causing his play to unravel. Despite his elusiveness and movement within the pocket, he may not handle pressure well.
Additionally, due to the option routes in the Ohio State offense, Stroud’s decision making can be slow and may confirm targets before throwing the ball. He can also be unsteady in the pocket, negatively affecting his ball placement.
Although he has strong legs, he tends to be reluctant to use them as a weapon, but showed what he is capable of during the Peach Bowl against Georgia.
CJ Stroud 2023 NFL Draft Summary
The Ohio State Buckeyes standout may well be the top pick in the draft. With the right support and development, there is still much potential for his game to evolve and reach new heights.
- High football IQ, reads defenses really well
- Can run a total offense
- Multiple starting seasons with consistent play for the Ohio State Buckeyes
- Can he throw receivers open?
- Indecisive against pressure sometimes
- Arm Strength isn’t elite
Stroud finished as one of the best QBs in the history of Ohio State and he will surely be playing football week 1 for an NFL this fall.