Is CJ Stroud The Best QB In The NFL Draft


C.J. Stroud Scouting Report, Ohio St. Quarterback




Weight-218 lbs.

CJ Stroud 40 time: 4.7 (estimate)


C.J. Stroud NFL Draft Profile

C.J. Stroud is a former five-star recruit out of Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California. In high school, Stroud played in a total of 35 games dating back to his freshman year. In those four seasons, to say he was productive is an understatement. According to MaxPreps, he racked up a total of 6,569 passing yards and 70 touchdowns, and only 15 interceptions. I should also note that he was able to maintain a completion percentage of 62.9%. Although this cumulative completion percentage is solid in high school, it is not good enough at Ohio St.

Not only was Stroud able to improve his completion percentage, he improved it by 9% in his first season. Last season, with his stacked group of receivers, he had a completion percentage of 71.9%. According to ESPN, he also racked up 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Keep in mind, that he did miss an entire game as well due to an injury. Now that I have given you an overview of his production, let’s talk about what kind of player he is.



As I mentioned earlier, Stroud has been a very accurate QB throughout his entire career. When watching film on a quarterback, I break down their accuracy by the route the receiver is running. After watching countless snaps of last season, I was impressed with his accuracy regardless of where he was throwing. I should also note that he could not have had a better group of receivers last season. Now, let’s get into the specifics of why he is talented in this area.

His accuracy on deep throws and ability to make big-time plays is what separates him from the crowd. There were countless games last season where he showed off his deep throw accuracy. He does a good job of letting his receivers develop their routes and create separation. Once there is any separation, he can place exactly where it needs to be. He’s also good at making accurate throws for short to intermediate gains in the middle of the field as well. When watching his film, I was impressed with his ability to quickly and accurately get the ball to a receiver. Once the receiver has the ball, they often have plenty of room to rack up many yards after the catch.

Arm Strength

As I briefly noted earlier, Stroud’s effectiveness when throwing deep down the field is jaw-dropping. When looking at his arm strength, I was impressed with two key aspects. These are how quick his release is and how far he can throw the ball when in the pocket. When watching his film from last season, his release reminded me of Zach Wilson when he was at BYU. They are similar in the way that they can quickly get the ball to their playmakers on short routes. Then, once the ball is in the receiver’s hands, they can rack up many yards after the catch. They are also similar because they can both throw the ball for around 60 yards in the air effortlessly. Hopefully, he will show off his arm strength more this season. If he does this, then I think it shows that he is ready for the NFL.


Out of all the quarterbacks available in the 2023 NFL Draft, Stroud can do it all. To do it all, you have to have elite athleticism and that is exactly what Stroud possesses. It is often easy to overlook how athletic Stroud is because he rarely moves outside of the pocket. But, when he does move outside of the pocket he is very good at extending plays. He does this by scrambling to the outside while working through his progressions to find a window. If a window is not open, he does not hesitate to make a play on his own. Ever since his injury towards the beginning of last season, I found that he was hesitant to run the ball. But, now that he is fully healthy, it is time to show the scouts what he is truly made of.

Reading Defenses

When watching his film, it became very obvious that Stroud is a very intelligent player. He does a good job of identifying the coverage before the snap and will often shift his receivers around. When he calls an audible prior to the snap, he is disguising what is coming. By doing this, he is making it easier for them in the long run because the offense becomes impossible to read.

Not only is he good at reading the defense before the snap, he is also very good during the play. As I mentioned earlier, Stroud’s eyes are always down field working through his progressions. This allows him to make the best play possible because he is constantly aware and has eyes on the defense.


Like most players who play for Ohio State, Stroud is one of the most competitive players in the country. There are many aspects that I look at when analyzing their competitiveness. But the one thing that amazed me about Stroud is that he knows he is going to produce. This is the case regardless of who Ohio State is facing. But, I am interested to see if that stays the same with two of his receivers and tight end gone. If he can hold on to this competitiveness that he possesses, I think he could be the top player in the 2023 NFL Draft.


Accuracy Outside the Pocket

As I talked about earlier, a majority of Stroud’s snaps come from inside the pocket. Although this is not a bad thing, I think he needs to improve his familiarity outside the pocket. Having the ability to escape pressure, and making an accurate throw while on the run, is essential to being successful. In several games last season, I noticed that Stroud is very inaccurate off his back foot. He often tended to throw the ball behind the receiver, which is very dangerous at the next level. This is especially dangerous if you are throwing to a receiver with adequate body control, because then they can’t save you. In the big picture of things, this is an easy fix that should come with more snaps. But, keep an eye on this throughout the 2022-23 season to see if you think he has improved.

Injury History

Last season, Stroud entered the year with a worn down rotator cuff. This raised many questions on how productive he would be. But, as we quickly realized, it did not affect him at all. That was until they played Minnesota when he separated his AC joint. Although this was a setback, it did not stop him from playing Oregon the next week. He seemed to be all good until he worsened the injury against Tulsa where he was then sidelined against Akron. Although he only missed one week due to this injury, it is something to keep an eye on.

CJ Stroud Draft Stock

As of right now, C.J. Stroud is a consensus top 3 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As long as he continues to stay healthy, I think his draft stock will remain this high. Personally, I think he would be a good fit for the Detroit Lions as I mentioned in my 2023 Way Too Early Mock.

Final Thoughts on CJ Stroud Scouting Report

In my opinion, C.J. Stroud is the best quarterback available in the 2023 NFL Draft. He possesses all of the tools needed to be successful at the next level. Hopefully, he steps on the field every game this season so he can show off his strengths with a “weaker” group of receivers. Also, I want to keep an eye on his skills outside the pocket. If he can show that his throw on the run has improved, and he shows that he is creative, he may win the Heisman.


CJ Stroud NFL Comparison

It seems too easy, but Justin Fields.