It took years of patience to reap the benefits Nick Caserio's front office is experiencing. They've worked diligently to find their franchise quarterback. The second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft seems to be the solution. C.J. Stroud is performing above expectations this year. His leadership on the field is helping the rookie quarterback make history early in his career.
Deshaun Watson was the last quarterback that gave Houston Texans fans a warm feeling. How long will it take C.J. Stroud to surpass the franchise's last successful quarterback?
Deshaun Watson led Houston Texans to temporary success
The quarterback controversy began during the 2017 off-season. Brock Osweiler's success from the previous campaign was not enough to secure a long-term deal. The Cleveland Browns alleviated a financial burden from the Texans' shoulder. They saved $16 million and $10 million in cap space but exchanged multiple picks in the 2017 and 2018 draft. Rick Smith needed a quarterback and was determined to find one in the off-season.
An opportunity to secure a franchise quarterback presented itself to the Texans in the first round of the 2017 draft. Quarterbacks were flying off the board, and Houston's front office needed to move fast. They traded up 13 spots to select one of the most established quarterbacks in his class. Watson fed the franchise a boost of confidence for a few years but parted ways with the franchise in 2022.
Three seasons with the Texans helped the former Clemson Tiger develop as a lethal NFL quarterback. He led Houston to the playoffs twice in four years (50%). Houston made it to the divisional round in 2019 but has failed to return since. C.J. Stroud will change that in his first season under center.
C.J Stroud is on pace to outperform Deshaun Watson's best season as a Houston Texan
The former Ohio State Buckeye has limited NFL experience under his belt. He's a rookie with veteran poise and a promising future. He's helped DeMeco Ryans achieve more wins (5) in a season than previous coaches.
Outstanding performances in the beginning stages of his career make Stroud a better selection than his protégé. He ranks 12th in passing (78.9) and tenth in offensive (81.7). Stroud has more completions (196) than Lamar Jackson (194), Russell Wilson (155) and Deshaun Watson (105). He's sent multiple rookie records and continues to lead the Texans toward a successful finish,
A post-season berth will solidify Stroud as the best first-round quarterback Houston's drafted in the last five years. HE embodies the culture DeMeco Ryan is working hard to establish. It's resulted in more wins and a positive morale. We expect Stroud to improve throughout the last leg of the season. He is the Houston Texan's franchise quarterback. They are in good hands.
All statistics courtesy of pff.com