C.J. Stroud has put a target on his back with his comments about Josh Allen and Joe Burrow

C.J. Stroud declares himself better than Josh Allen and Joe Burrow.
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

C.J. Stroud has a healthy respect for his skillset. That's not a bad thing by any means. If you're talented, you should respect your skillset. It helps you tweak whatever issues you may have, while also giving you a skill you can rely on when everything else is falling apart. Yet, Stroud made some comments in June that sort of went under the radar.

Stroud, in his own words, believes he's better than two of the three best quarterbacks in the game right now; Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.

Speaking on a podcast in June, Stroud revealed that he believes himself to be among the five best quarterbacks in the league. Sharing space with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, and Jalen Hurts. It's not made clear if he thinks he's third of all five, or if he's just listing the five best in his mind.

It should be stated clearly, that this was based on the 2023 seasons, not career totality. Still, as Burrow and Allen are among two of the best quarterbacks in the league, it's surprising to see them left off the list. Though Burrow we get. Since this is based on 2023, we can only judge him for 2023. He played just 10 games last season and only went 5-5 in those games. It wasn't his best season.

Yet, if we're talking about the best seasons by a quarterback in 2023, then we have some other questions. Prescott was a top-five quarterback, after all, he finished second in MVP voting to Jackson. So we're ok with both of those names being on the list. Mahomes was seventh in voting and was the fifth quarterback on the list.

Yet, Stroud and Hurts were not in the top five of MVP voting, nor were they in the top five for just quarterbacks in the voting.

Allen came in at number five, while Brock Purdy came in at number four. Purdy also took his team to the Super Bowl, so that helps his standing. So if the 2023 season was what Stroud was going off of, then the five-best quarterbacks would have been Jackson, Prescott, Purdy, Allen, and Mahomes. With Matthew Stafford coming in at number eight overall in voting, making him the sixth-best quarterback.

Stroud was ninth overall, and the seventh-best quarterback.

The young Texans' quarterback should be confident in his skills, but it's worth pointing out that he's not proven much in the NFL. A healthy ego is good, but if he doesn't see that he's not among that crop of players yet, then he may never develop the advanced skillsets and the awareness in the Texans' system to make that leap from a very good quarterback to an all-time great quarterback.

Mahomes is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, while Prescott, Allen and Jackson are making strong cases. Purdy has a ways to go, as does Stroud. Yet, Purdy has been to a Super Bowl. Something Stroud is clearly eyeing to achieve as well.

It's no less bold for a second-year player to put himself in rarified air, however. Many are predicting an MVP season from the young man. If he stumbles and fails to meet expectations, there could be a tremendous backlash coming his way due to his own ranking within the league. We're optimistic that Stroud can be that top-five guy he believes himself to already be.

But he's got to prove it on the field.