An interconference matchup will showcase the top two quarterbacks from the 2023 NFL Draft. It's the fifth time in the common draft era that two QBs taken with the first and second picks will face off in their rookie season. Frank Reich and the Carolina Panthers are searching for their first win of the new campaign. DeMeco Ryans and his unit are determined to obtain a victory as well. The Houston Texans have exceeded expectations halfway through the season. A win on Sunday is another step in the right direction.
C.J. Stroud continues to prove his worth. What can we expect from Houston's gunslinger this weekend?
Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction #3: C.J Stroud will outperform Bryce Young
The rivalry between two first-round picks will fuel competition on Sunday. Nick Caserio and Scott Fitterer's front offices spent first-round draft capital on players they believed would lead their franchise to greener pastures. Trade with the Chicago Bears helped Fritterer land the first pick in the draft. The Carolina Panthers needed a quarterback and believed Bryce Young was a better prospect than Stroud. The former Alabama Crimson Tide's gunslinger had an impressive collegiate career. His game footage was enough for Carolina's executives to select him first overall. The Texans used their second overall pick to secure Stroud's talents. We are halfway through the season and the quarterback comparison is not even close. Stroud is the better quarterback and he will prove it Sunday afternoon.
Exceeding expectations is a great way to earn respect in the league. DeMeco Ryans has a quarterback that defenses are beginning to respect early in his career. Wins against the Steelers, Saints, and Jaguars are noteworthy accomplishments for Houston's rookie. He's adapted well and continues to show improvement. Entering Week 8, C.J. Stroud (70.5) is ranked higher than Joe Burrow (66.5), Brock Purdy (67.3), and Baker Mayfield (69) in pass grading. He ranks tenth in passing yards (1,660) and ties eleventh in touchdowns (9). His experience as a rookie differs from Bryce Young's. Extra incentives will motivate the second overall pick in the 2023 Draft this weekend. Stroud understands what it takes to win in the NFL, and I'm sure he will outperform his peers on Sunday afternoon.