A strong start to the season for Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has oddsmakers firmly in his corner. Once considered the seventh most likely to take home the 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Stroud is now the favorite at +310 according to FanDuel’s latest odds. This comes shortly after the signal caller was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month.
Though the Houston Texans sit at 1-2 on the young campaign, Stroud has outperformed rookie expectations thus far. In those three contests, the rookie signal-caller has 906 passing yards, four touchdowns to zero interceptions, and two fumbles.
The lack of interceptions is an overwhelming positive for the 21-year-old, with most rookie quarterbacks struggling with turnover issues as they adjust to NFL-level defenses. Stroud has shown weekly progression in this regard, with 37 points against the Jaguars being the latest feat for the talented quarterback.
Stroud looked like a seasoned veteran in that contest, completing 20 of 30 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. His 118.8 QBR is the highest mark of his young career to date.
Another big hurdle for young signal callers is the ability to progress through multiple reads and avoid locking eyes on their primary option. Stroud has done an excellent job at doing so thus far, consistently spreading his targets around to multiple receivers while showing confidence and poise in the face of intense defensive pressure.
With all of these factors already evident in Stroud’s game at such an early portion of his career, it is not hard to see why he is already the favorite for one of the NFL’s most prestigious rewards. Stroud is looking like the guy for Houston.
Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray were the last two signal callers to win the award in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Can Stroud be the third in the last five years to take home the honors?