5 bold predictions for the Houston Texans heading into training camp

  • Expect a 1-2 punch at running back
  • C.J. Stroud will shock the NFL world
  • DeMeco Ryans will silence the naysayers

Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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3. C.J. Stroud starts in Week 1, throws for 3,500 yards, 25 TDs

There were some eyebrows raised on draft night when the Texans took C.J. Stroud at No. 2 overall. There were expectations that the franchise would have preferred Will Levis from Kentucky or even the incredibly athletic but rather raw Anthony Richardson from Florida.

As fate would have it, the Texans will be reminded often of the quarterbacks they could have selected since Richardson went to the Indianapolis Colts a couple of picks later and Levis joined the Tennessee Titans early in Round 2.

Of course, if Stroud turns out to be the player they hoped for, they won't mind the reminders at all. And personally, I can see Stroud being every bit the star Houston expects — and more.

For some reason, Stroud was often overlooked when discussing the elite quarterbacks in this class but there could be an argument made that he should have even gone ahead of Bryce Young — the No. 1 pick for the Carolina Panthers.

Stroud has better NFL size than Young at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds. He's better at protecting the football than Levis was and while Richardson was a freak at the Combine, Stroud impressed with his arm. Throw in the fact that he played his best game against a Georgia defense full of NFL talent and there's no reason not to believe in him.

This prediction gets bold in assuming he not only wins the starting job by Week 1 but also throws for 3,500 yards with at least 25 touchdowns. It could be enough to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and if so, they could have two rookies with hardware — if the following prediction also comes true.