CJ Stroud Rookie of the Year odds (Can Stroud showcase the complete package?)

CJ Stroud spent his entire college career throwing to first-round draft picks at wide receiver, how will he do with less help in Houston?
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7)
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans drafted CJ Stroud No. 2 overall, and from the looks of things he’ll be QB1 on the depth chart. The Ohio State product went 2/4 for 13 yards and an interception in his preseason debut, but he’s still one of the favorites to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Stroud is a highly touted prospect that will hope to grow into his role quickly and build off an admittedly poor small sample size in his preseason debut. Can he shine by the time the season kicks off?

Let’s check out the odds and I’ll make the case for Stroud winning the award. 

CJ Stroud Rookie of the Year odds

Stroud certainly threw the ball enough in college, but we only got to see the skill that will make or break his rookie year in his final collegiate game. Stroud was mostly a statue, but against Georgia in the College Football Playoff, he displayed mobility and athleticism that I wasn’t sure he even had. He used it to make plays with his legs and with his arm when the play broke down and he had to flee the pocket. 

If Stroud makes this a regular part of his game then he has a chance of being the best QB of his rookie class, but there’s still a big problem. During his career at Ohio State Stroud threw to three receivers who were already drafted in the first-round in 2022 and 2023 along with two future first-rounders in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. Now, he has no first-round receivers and has to hope that Robert Woods still has something left and that Tank Dell develops into a good pass-catcher. 

That’s a lot to ask from Stroud and it’s the reason I’m not betting him to win rookie of the year, but if he uses his legs and some of his receivers emerge, he could have a season like similar to Justin Herbert in 2020, who we already knew could run but we questioned could throw at a high level. Herbert silenced concerns by passing for over 4,3000 yards and 31 passing touchdowns.

Stroud could be in line for a similar rookie trajectory in 2023.

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