When watching a young signal caller adjust to the speed and intensity of the NFL game, a degree of caution is taken about their long-term outlook. Many first-round quarterbacks, such as Houston Texans rookie C.J. Stroud, are instantly given the expectation of being a franchise savior, the guy who will instantly step in and make a significant impact on the team around them.
This begs the question, when is it the right time to proclaim that these expectations have been met? After all, drafting a quarterback with a high pick is equivalent to rolling a dice and hoping that it lands where it is supposed to. For Stroud, these first four games of action proved that he is the face of the future for the Houston Texans.
While it is a wild statement to make, there is statistical evidence to back up these claims. For starters, Stroud is on a torrid pace in terms of passing yardage. His 1,212 passing yards are the most by any rookie signal-caller through their first four games. If the 21-year-old were to keep up the 303-yards-per-game pace he is currently maintaining, it would put him at over 5,000 yards for the year, easily shattering Andrew Luck’s rookie record of 4,374 set in 2012.
Another important takeaway is how Stroud is able to take care of the football. According to The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov, the rookie is the second quarterback to not throw an interception in his first four career starts with a minimum of 30 passing attempts per start. Stroud has six touchdowns in those contests and a completion percentage of 62.3%.
The result of this great care has been two consecutive victories for the Houston Texans. More importantly, displaying that level of control and poise at such a young age is a huge trend upward for his stock as an NFL quarterback.
As the season is still young, there is still plenty to take away from Stroud’s rookie campaign, but the evidence is clear. Stroud has the potential to be the team’s long-term answer behind center and already looks the part.