A lot will happen between today and the time the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around.
However, as it stands now Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is showing a lot of promise to be one of the top headliners.
Stroud is coming off a phenomenal red-shirt freshman year for the Buckeyes, and odds are, if he is able to duplicate what he did last season, he will go top five.
Teams like the Seahawks, Lions, Giants, Commanders, Vikings, and possibly the Cardinals could be standing in line clamoring for Stroud.
Could the Jets be standing there too doing everything they can do to select Stroud?
As a former Jets’ scout, I believe it is very possible.
As I wrote recently, I don’t see the Jets winning more than five games if QB Zach Wilson starts the entire season.
If that were to happen, the probability of the Jets cleaning house and starting over is high.
This is New York. There is no excuse to camp out with losing records.
Former Jets’ QB Sam Darnold found this out the hard way. He was the face of the franchise, after being selected third overall in the 2018 draft, but three losing seasons later, he was shown the door.
If the Jets turn in yet another dismal season, and they were to clean house, it is entirely possible the new general manager would want to handpick their own QB.
Although I am not a huge fan of using 2021 college game film to project into the 2023 NFL Draft, Stroud sure does look like a franchise QB.
Stroud shows tremendous maturity in the pocket for any age. His first love was basketball, and it shows. Stroud runs a football offense with the mentality of a point guard. Stroud is downfield minded and brings an even-kneeled and consistent rhythm and tempo to an offense.
My nickname for Stroud is, “The Machine.”
Time after time…
Stroud stands tall in the pocket and delivers the ball like he is a human JUGS machine.
Former New York Jets Scout Praises Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud
Grading C.J. Stroud
6-foot-3, 215 pounds
2021 stats: 317/441 (71.9%), 4,435 yards, 44 TD, 6 INT.
2021 game film reviewed: Oregon, Michigan State and Penn State
Level of competition: High
NFL comparable: Warren Moon
Pure pocket passer with a thick frame who stands tall and shows maturity beyond his years, and he has a strong arm. Can also throw finesse touch passes. Even-tempered and consistent. Mechanics and play-action a tad robotic. Deliberate, decisive and makes quick decisions in the pocket. Tough, poised, downfield focused, but also aware of his surroundings. Has good enough mobility to slide around and evade the rush. Does not tend to take sacks. Great field awareness. Constantly and methodically driving the ball downfield. Goes through progressions. Smart and alert looking. Excellent at looking off defenders then going elsewhere with the ball. Signature passes are the short to intermediate slants. Has enough zip to fit it in between defenders in small throwing windows. It’s like watching someone throw darts at a bar. Excels in the short to intermediate level throwing in the middle and to his right side of the field. Struggled throwing to his left side of the field at all three route levels. Ball placement tends to be high. Sometimes tries to aim too much. Good on crossing routes. Too inconsistent deep regardless of location. Needs work on timing routes. Takes care of the football both in the pocket and throwing. Does not take crazy chances throwing. He is not Michael Vick running, but can pick up some yardage when he has to. Excellent looking prospect.
Sure, Stroud’s critics will be quick to try to point out the talent that surrounded him last season at Ohio State.
I’m not buying into that narrative at all.
While I do need to see improvement when he is throwing to his left, throwing deep and on timing routes…
Stroud looks like a generational talent, and it’s the first time I have ever used that term.
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