Seahawks 2023 NFL Draft Preview: Going all in on CJ Stroud

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Seahawks draft preview: The cons of CJ Stroud

Once this article is released, I already know I will see multiple comments complaining “Not another Ohio State QB.” Frankly, that is a tiresome argument that is a sad and lazy way to evaluate quarterbacks. The history of NFL quarterbacks coming out of Ohio State is rough, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It also fails to consider Stroud the person, his development as a player, his skills, and his mindset to lead a franchise.

Debunking the “OSU QBs suck” theory, did you know that CJ Stroud will be only the third Buckeye quarterback selected in the first round in forty years? Dwayne Haskins, rest in peace, likely needed another year in college to refine his skills. Instead, he was taken by Washington and their toxic culture, and never was put in a position to succeed.

Justin Fields was drafted in 2020 by the Chicago Bears, another team that wasn’t ready to support a young franchise QB. With a new coaching staff after year one and one of the least talented rosters in football, Fields has had to keep his teams competitive more so as a running back playing the QB position than as a developing passer.

Yes, Ohio State is an extremely talented program with NFL players all over their offense, but Stroud was the conductor and had that offense rolling in ways we had never seen. Stroud is a completely different player than his predecessors, but that doesn’t mean there are not some concerns.

The first concern about Stroud is with his mobility. Stroud has shown to be above average with his mobility but has rarely shown it. As a freshman, in his first rushing attempt, Stroud ran for a 48-yard touchdown at Michigan State. That would be the biggest run of his career. In the following 24 games leading up to the Peach Bowl, Stroud only ran for more than 13 yards once, and that was in a monsoon at Northwestern.

Even with an exceptional roster around him, why didn’t Stroud use his legs more often? It was definitely a point of consternation for Buckeye fans. You have to wonder if Stroud was adamant about proving he was a pocket passer and didn’t want to be viewed as a runner that can throw, which through two seasons, is a perception of Fields.

The second concern has been his and his team’s performance in big games. While Stroud has led the Buckeyes to a 22-4 record, the Buckeyes are only 5-4 in ranked games. He also is one of the few Ohio State QBs to ever lose back-to-back games to Michigan. While his defense gave up 41 points on average in those losses, Stroud has had some struggles against specifically Michigan and on 3rd and 4th down. Versus Michigan, when plays broke down and Stroud needed to make a play, he many times did not.