It's hard to know whether Kiper is going for shock value here or if, indeed, he believes Stroud possesses the greatest chance to be the first quarterback off the board. To wit, he said in his write-up: "Houston still has several needs, but it should start with Stroud. I have Stroud just barely behind Will Levis (Kentucky) and Bryce Young (Alabama) in my rankings, but it's going to be a close race through April.
There are likely four quarterbacks who will be selected in the first half of the 2023 NFL Draft and each of them possesses different characteristics depending on what the prospective team is seeking. Stroud presents as an extremely accurate, strong-armed, pocket passer who has enough mobility to be intriguing. The criticism relates to his off-schedule ability and lack of perceived desire to use his mobility consistently. It's no secret the Texans will use their second-overall selection on one of the top passers in this year's draft though Alabama's Bryce Young is still considered the top-overall prospect. C.J. Stroud is found as DLF's rookie QB2 and the R18 overall.