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C.J. Stroud

2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: CJ Stroud

We focus on each rookie’s situation, talent, opportunity, risk, and market to provide post-draft analysis for dynasty managers.

CJ Stroud

The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.


Name: CJ Stroud

Position: Quarterback

Pro Team: Houston Texans

College Team: Ohio State

Draft Status: Round one, second overall

The rumors of CJ Stroud’s draft day demise were greatly exaggerated as the Texans made him the second overall selection. While this isn’t the dream landing spot for dynasty managers, a look beyond the surface offers hope that Houston could be the ideal situation for the Ohio State alum.

First and foremost, the success of new head coach DeMeco Ryans is directly tied to Stroud as the presumptive franchise quarterback. The high draft capital spent on the quarterback will buy him some patience with the organization.

Also, new Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has recent success in mentoring first-year quarterbacks. Slowik was the passing game coordinator in San Francisco last season, guiding seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy to the second-best overall passer rating in the league after losing his top two options at the position.

Finally, the new coordinator’s offensive scheme should be familiar to Stroud. The Shanahan system of outside zone runs to utilize play-action passing was a major wrinkle of Ohio State’s offense.

Expect Slowik and the entire offensive coaching staff to slowly bring their top selection along and put him in the best position to succeed.


C.J. Stroud Combine Results:

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 214 lbs

Arm: 32 5/8″

Hand: 10″

40-Yard Dash: Did Not Participate

10-Yard Split: Did Not Participate

Vertical Jump: Did Not Participate

Broad Jump: Did Not Participate

3-Cone Drill: Did Not Participate

20-Yard Shuttle: Did Not Participate

Bench Press: Did Not Participate

While the former Buckeye did not participate in most of the athletic testing portion of the combine, his 6’3″ 214-pound frame is the ideal makeup for an NFL quarterback. Plus, a broad jump isn’t needed to confirm what two years of tape show: Stroud has the perfect combination of a cannon arm with pinpoint precision.

Watch two years of film from his time in Columbus, and you’ll see a passer who can thread the needle on throws with almost effortless touch. Moreover, Stroud’s arm strength allows him to make any throw with the abovementioned accuracy.

Yes, Stroud doesn’t have the running abilities of his top five contemporaries, but he’s more athletic than most assume. The most significant development in the Columbus product’s progression from year one to year two is his ability to throw on the run. Games against Notre Dame and Georgia demonstrate Stroud’s ability to evade pressure, get out of the pocket, and deliver the ball on target to an open receiver.


A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Data Courtesy of 4for4.com

The Texans organization can say whatever they want to the media about their top pick having to “earn the starting job,” but make no mistake: C.J. Stroud will be under center for Houston early in 2022 if not on Kickoff Weekend.

In 26 career starts over two seasons, Davis Mills was serviceable but not spectacular. His future in this league is as a capable backup ready to take the reins in case of emergency. He’ll compete with grizzled veteran Case Keenum for this role on the Texans. Keenum’s best days are behind him, but he can be a great mentor for the rookie during his inaugural campaign.


Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Garrett Wilson. Chris Olave. Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Marvin Harrison Jr. If you have all these players rostered in a devy league, I like your chances for success. Do I think CJ Stroud’s two Heisman finalist seasons were only a result of throwing to the best receivers in college football? Absolutely not. However, it would be naive not to expect the transition from this star-studded receiving corps to his current iteration to present some problems. With all due respect to Nico Collins, Noah Brown, Tank Dell, and John Metchie (I can’t wait to see what he can do after his courageous health battle), they either have never played an NFL snap or shown the ability to be the alpha of a receiver room. Robert Woods has filled this spot in the past but is coming off two subpar seasons at age 31.

The two-time Big Ten quarterback of the year has gotten accustomed to throwing in tight windows, trusting his receivers to make a play as they were much more talented than the defender. This will not be the case on Sundays with his current cast of wideouts. Expect the rookie to have some early interceptions while he adjusts to this new reality.



A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Data courtesy of DLF May SuperFlex Rookie ADP.

According to both May Rookie DLF Superflex and My Fantasy League non-Superflex ADP, the Houston rookie is locked in as QB3 of this 2023 rookie class behind Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young. This is unsurprising as Stroud lacks the Konami Code upside of his counterparts so coveted in modern fantasy football. Yet, not many would argue he’s a better passer than either Richardson or Young. If I’m in a league that awards six points per passing touchdown, I will not hesitate in grabbing the new Texans quarterback over both.

Data Courtesy of DLF Dynasty Trade Analyzer.

In looking at the overall dynasty landscape, Stroud is valued closely to Christian McCaffrey, Tua Tagovailoa, former teammate Olave, and Breece Hall. If I’m a contending team in a Superflex league, trade the Buckeye alum for CMC right after finishing this sentence. The same applies to Olave on any dynasty roster; not completely barren at quarterback. For contenders, I’m less bullish on making a deal for Hall, but I would not fault anyone who makes the swap.

Regarding Tua, I would rather have Stroud rostered in either competitive situation. Yes, the Miami quarterback has an array of weapons at his disposal. However, this does not change the fact he’s another concussion away from his professional career being over.

When a rookie with Stroud’s talent and collegiate accomplishments can be acquired after the top two picks of a Superflex draft (and sometimes after the top four), savvy dynasty GMs should pounce. Aside from his lack of collegiate rushing statistics, the Ohio State quarterback suffers unfairly from his alum predecessors’ lack of success at the position. Take advantage of any league mates stuck in this stone-age thinking style.

The Ohio State signal caller had one of the best on-the-job performance interviews in the College Football Playoff against a defense loaded with top-flight NFL talent. It may take several weeks to get his NFL sea legs, but Stroud should be a reliable QB2 in Superflex formats dripping with QB1 upside soon.

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2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: CJ Stroud
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