CJ Stroud 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- 2021 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
- 2021 Heisman Trophy Finalist
- Set Ohio State record for passing yards in a single game with 573
- Scheme tendencies: Spread
- 2022 projected role: Second-year starting quarterback
Pros: After a shaky start to the 2021 season (his first as a starter), CJ Stroud settled in and led the most dynamic offense in college football. He offers an impressive blend of size, passing game instincts, and mobility to make him a dynamic player. Stroud has good arm strength, although I stop well short of calling it elite. He generally does well to read coverage, identify leverage, and give his targets opportunities to make plays on the football. He is more than willing to identify matchups and test man coverage. He has impressive flashes of accuracy, especially down the field. Stroud is an excellent anticipatory thrower. I really like his approach and how he blends aggressive throws with taking profits when necessary. He takes care of the football and rarely puts it in harm’s way. Stroud has a good feel for the rush and maneuvering within the pocket. He is in full command of the offense and it appears he is involved with setting protections, locking routes, and calling audibles at the line of scrimmage. Stroud has a variety of clubs in his bag and does well to put the appropriate weight on the football—he knows when to dial up the fastball and when to use his off-speed pitches.
Cons: For as dynamic as CJ Stroud is as a passer, he can vastly improve his footwork to become a more consistent thrower. His drops aren’t synced consistently to the routes and there is notable wasted movement at the top of his drops. He is extremely toesy in the pocket with his heels off the ground, which creates challenges with setting his base and leads to irregular throw sequencing, negatively impacting his ball placement. Stroud has a bit of a windup to his throwing motion. That windup combined with wasted motion at the top of his drops needs to become more efficient for him to find greater consistency as a passer. While not necessarily an issue because I appreciate his pass-first mentality and how he protects himself, Stroud can stand to weaponize his legs more.
CJ Stroud NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino