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CJ Stroud Mock Draft
NFL Draft

What Are CJ Stroud’s 4 Best NFL Team Fits?

  • Justin Melo
  • April 13, 2023
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Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is no longer a sure thing to get drafted with the No. 1 overall selection. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has officially taken over as the betting favorite. Anthony Richardson and Will Levis still remain in the mix to get drafted in the top five.

Stroud is an excellent prospect. His ability to process defenses and complete accurate throws with anticipation are standout traits of his. Stroud’s pre-draft stock has been somewhat muddied, but several franchises should jockey for the right to draft him. We’ve identified four fits for Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft.


The Panthers remain undecided regarding who they’ll draft with the top overall selection. General manager Scott Fitterer acquired the pick from the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster deal that ensured Carolina will have their pick of the litter. The Panthers have spent a considerable amount of time with Stroud. Stroud remains firmly in contention.

Panthers head coach Frank Reich is a former NFL quarterback that will appreciate Stroud’s intangibles. Stroud may be the most pro-ready signal-caller in the 2023 NFL Draft. That will appeal to Reich and members of his coaching staff. No quarterback is better suited to start right away, and that’s the expectation in Carolina.


There’s been buzz claiming the Texans may pass on Stroud (and other quarterbacks) if Young is the first signal-caller drafted. The Texans have been connected to Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr., who is the best overall talent in the 2023 NFL Draft. I’m not convinced the Texans should pass on a quarterback.

The argument often states the Texans’ roster isn’t ready to develop a young quarterback. While it’s true they possess glaring needs all over their squad, the Texans shouldn’t pass on a franchise quarterback. It’s difficult to predict when you’ll receive another opportunity to draft an organization-changing pivot. Stroud has franchise quarterback tendencies, and the Texans shouldn’t overthink the process. It’s the most important position in professional sports.


The Raiders may still be in the market for a rookie quarterback despite signing Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency. Garoppolo received below-average starter money on a short-term contract. The Raiders could dump Garoppolo rather quickly if things don’t go well.

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels runs a complicated system that’s difficult to grasp. Drafting Stroud and allowing him to sit behind Garoppolo for a year while he acclimates to McDaniels’ scheme would be a worthy exercise. Of the top quarterbacks, Stroud is the one I could see operating McDaniels’ offense with little hesitancy.


The Titans have been linked to trading up to No. 3 overall. The current owners of that selection are the Arizona Cardinals, who already have a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray. The Cardinals also have a new general manager (Monti Ossenfort) with ties to the Titans organization.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is an Ohio State alum who’s maintained strong relationships within the program. Vrabel and Co. traveled in bunches to watch Stroud perform at Ohio State’s Pro Day, where he put forth a flawless throwing session. Ryan Tannehill is in a contract year, and his bloated cap hit makes him a candidate to be released/traded. If the Titans trade up, I believe Stroud will be their target.