With the second pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected C.J. Stroud out of Ohio State.
Stroud's accuracy on downfield throws outside the numbers is outrageous, especially those he delivered in the 2022 Rose Bowl. He destroyed Utah with throws landing in the area from the bottom of the numbers to the sideline. His ability to drop the ball in the bucket from deep is going to entice all NFL personnel. RPO game is strong. He has a quick, sudden delivery on slants and interior breaking routes. He can throw effectively, and accurately, off platform, although he is much better throwing from a protected well/pocket than any other time.
Because of the way 2022 transpired, heading into the CFP semifinal in 2022, though, there were plenty of questions about Stroud as a prospect. Could he really throw off-platform, against a heavy rush? Could he be clutch? Could he carry that Ohio State offense against the best defense in the country? Would he rebound from a rough performance against Michigan (again) in the B1G finale? Well, yeah, he answered all of those questions with a resounding YES! It was the best performance of his career regardless of numbers or anything else. He was the BEST player/prospect on the field and had WR Marvin Harrison Jr. not gotten hurt late in the third quarter, Ohio State would've won that game and taken home the championship the next week too. He threw lasers to all areas on the field. He evaded and eluded traffic in the pocket. He picked up yardage on his scrambles at key times. He dropped a dime on Smash seam against Tampa two coverage to end the first half during a two minute type drill.
He was incredible and that performance was confirmation that he's THAT good and THAT accurate, more so than it was a one-off situation.