One of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft was expected to be Ohio State Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud. However, he had until January 16th to decide whether he was going to enter the NFL Draft or return to Ohio State and he waited until the final day to make the decision that he ultimately decided to head to the NFL, as Jordan Reid with ESPN tweeted earlier Monday morning.
Stroud has been the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes for the past two seasons and has been one of the best at his position over that stretch. He would throw for over 8,100 passing yards with 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 69%.
While Stroud would lose his last college football game, in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, it was arguably one of his best games at the collegiate level.
Against an excellent Georgia defense, he would complete 23 of 34 passes for 348 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
The race is on between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young to be the number one pick in the 2023 NFL Draft
While C.J. Stroud does have 72 hours to change his mind and elect to return to Ohio State, this seems like the start of the race over the next few months between Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young to be the top quarterback taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Both players have put together an impressive resume during their time at college and the first quarterback may ultimately not be up to either play as they have very different playing styles.
Bryce Young is smaller but is more elusive and brings more of a threat as a runner. Meanwhile, Stroud is the more ‘prototypical’ quarterback in terms of size at 6’3″ and 215 pounds and is more of a pocket passer.
The Chicago Bears currently have the first overall pick and with Justin Fields already on the team, they are likely to trade the pick to a team that needs a new quarterback this offseason.