C.J. Stroud (Quarterback #7)
6’3 214 lbs
21 y/o Junior Ohio State University
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Games watched: vs UGA (‘22); vs ND (‘22); vs IOWA (‘22); vs WISC (‘22);
vs TUL (‘21); vs UTAH (‘21)
C.J. Stroud hails from Inland Empire, California, where he attended Rancho Cucamonga High School and graduated in 2020. In his recruitment class, he was a top 50 prospect in the nation and 4th ranked in California. After receiving offers from Georgia, Michigan, Baylor, and Boise State, Stroud committed to Ohio State University in December 2019.
Coaches designated Stroud as a redshirt player as a true freshman. In 2021, Stroud played in 12 games, where he threw for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Following a stellar year, he was named a Heisman Trophy finalist and eventually finished 4th in the voting. Stroud would receive Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and First-team All-Big Ten recognitions.
As a redshirt Sophomore in the 2022 season, Stroud threw for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Once again, he would be named a Heisman finalist but finish 3rd in the voting.
Stroud would become the first QB in Big Ten history to pass for over 30 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. After deliberation, Stroud decided to forgo the final 3 seasons of his eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft.
- Good Velocity
- Throws with touch
- Placement & Accuracy
- Deep ball
- Threat to all 3 levels of the field
- Flashed movement skills in and out of the pocket
- Flashes eye manipulation
- Creation off-script
- Can have spells of indecisive play
- vs. pressure
- Streaky thrower
- Not elite in terms of arm strength
C.J. Stroud is a highly talented thrower of the football. He has one of the prettiest deep balls in the class, with the ability to drop it in the bucket along the boundary. He also has the ability to exploit the intermediate portions of the field with timing and touch.
Mechanically, he generates natural velocity from a solid base. The team used him more than one would think on the run with Play-action rollouts and boots. When he is in a rhythm, not many can throw a better, more well-placed football than Stroud.
Many will say Stroud is not an excellent athlete, and that would be correct. However, he can make defenses pay for not accounting for his legs.
Many will claim that the Georgia Bowl game answers to Stroud’s reservations, but that game seemed to be an outlier. Stroud must improve at becoming more decisive. He did have moments where he locked on to a read too long.
Stroud would sometimes feel or see the pass rush too late to react. NFL coaching can help him stay on track and improve that internal clock.
As a rhythmic thrower, Stroud would benefit from a system where the offense allows him to build momentum. The game at the next level may need to slow down for him, so he may not be a good option for every team to start immediately. However, if given a patient OC who is willing to build around his strengths and teach on the fly, he is talented enough as a thrower to start.
“When in rhythm, he’s surgical with pinpoint accuracy. Think of Klay Thompson for the Golden State Warriors.”
– Will; @4ourmanrush
“Stroud is a pop-warner quarterback in a grown man’s body. He’s not going to go through progressions or improvise. He’s literally throwing the ball to who the coach tells him to throw to. Plus, he from Rancho Cucamonga, California…He soft.”
– Smoove; @4mr_smoove
“I like his ball placement in the tightest of windows. I still question his accuracy on the move and on rollouts.”
– Kevin; @4mr_kountrykev
“He’s a taller QB, but he just isn’t Bryce Young”
– Norris; @norris4mr
Best Game vs Worst Game: