X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

C.J. Stroud - 2023 NFL Draft Rookie Profile

Welcome RotoBallers to my C.J. Stroud NFL Draft rookie profile. The 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Series features eminent 2023 NFL Draft prospects with film analysis and scouting insights. I have experience working in college football and have been studying the NFL Draft for over 15 years. My analysis is based on film study and analytics. For the past two years, I wrote up profiles on the top offensive skill position prospects in each class. Here are some of my past profiles:

A common misconception about the NFL Draft is that the college and pro games are very similar. They are not. Besides the obvious difference in speed and skill level, a college field has different hash mark distances and different rules. There are specific schemes and plays that NFL teams copy from college and vice versa. But the differences between the two are understated in NFL Draft coverage. There's a reason many highly-productive college players are not considered legitimate professionals.

To that end, scouting prospects is not just about evaluating college performance, it’s about projecting traits that translate to the next level. This is not limited to just physical traits. There are certain football traits that are evident in college film and will translate to the pro game. We will continue our 2023 Prospect Profile series with Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

C.J. Stroud - NFL Rookie Profile

C.J. Stroud had a fantastic career at Ohio State, putting up eye-popping numbers in Ryan Day's offense. Stroud compiled 8123 yards and 85 touchdowns in just two seasons as Ohio State's starter, with a 69.3 completion percentage and just 12 interceptions. Stroud played with a handful of high draft picks at receiver and offensive line, and his offense was extremely stat-friendly. However, he showed many traits that will translate to success at the next level.

 

Footwork, Anticipation, Timing

C.J. Stroud is one of the most natural passers I've ever scouted. He understands how to execute his offense and gets the ball to his playmakers. While playing with three first-round receivers and a handful of pro offensive linemen makes for favorable conditions, Stroud still displays elite traits as a passer.

Stroud has calm, efficient footwork in the pocket. You don't complete almost 70% of your passes without sound mechanics. His release is quick enough and his base is balanced. He involves his lower half into throws when necessary. Footwork won't be the same for every QB, and being able to deliver accurate passes when moved off your spot is just as important as being sound when protection is as well. Stroud's film is clinic-worthy stuff.

In the clip below you can see what calm, efficient feet can lead to. This is great anticipation and placement to place the ball behind the linebacker and in front of the safety. One of Stroud's best routes is the seam route. He would be deadly with a seam-stretching tight end in the NFL.

In the clip below, his mechanics are a little different due to play-action. Stroud actually fades away a bit here in a clean pocket, which isn't necessary. More important than grading his college film, this shows his innate accuracy trait, which surely translates to the next level.

If seams are Stroud's best route, curls are his second favorite. I love the clip below because it shows his ability to go through a full-field progression. His eyes start to the boundary, then he works to the field to the curl from the No. 3 receiver. The best part is that he's intentionally placing the ball low where only his receiver can get it away from the defender.

While Stroud is adept at seams, curls, and quick-game short passes, his ability to hit spots down the field is downright special.

In the clip below, Stroud delivers a seed to his slot receiver. The trajectory of the ball is perfect.

 

 

PhD in Placement

Mastering the Ohio State offense the way Stroud did is impressive. His preparation and football IQ are evident on film. But the separating trait that will translate to the NFL is his elite ability to place the ball in great spots on all different routes.

The clip below is a simple outside vertical to the field. Stroud knows there will be no safety help, takes a three-step drop with one hitch, and delivers an in-stride dime to his All-American receiver.

The clip below is another vertical outside the numbers to the field. This time it's a slot fade and Stroud takes two hitches up in the pocket. Recognizing no safety help, Stroud starts his eyes to the right and drops it in the bucket to let his WR win his matchup.

The clip below is a different type of strike. Stroud feels some inside pressure, makes the subtle move up in the pocket, and delivers the throw accurately. Unfortunately, the receiver doesn't make the catch but you can see Stroud's arm strength and pocket feel.

Some of Stroud's throws are jaw-dropping. His ball placement is as special as any prospect this decade. The clip below isn't pretty in terms of footwork, as Stroud pointlessly wanders left, messing up his RB. However, the placement trait shines through, as the ball is served on the back shoulder, a perfect spot for when the receiver doesn't win on a vertical against press man.

Stroud throws well on the run and throws to receivers before they're open - which is super important when translating processing speed for the next level. He places the ball to let his receivers run after the catch as well.

 

(Buck) I Robot

C.J. Stroud balled out in the National Championship Semifinal against Georgia. He put his team in a position to win the game and actually made huge plays with his legs all night. This was particularly notable because he did not show a willingness to run that much throughout his career. In fact, his biggest question mark translating to the pro game is how he will fare outside the structure of an offense.

At Ohio State, his circumstances were very QB-friendly. The NFL will be an entirely different beast, especially if he's drafted to a mediocre-to-bad team, which is likely. A scrambler who thrives out of structure might adjust seamlessly to a tough NFL situation. Stroud is used to elite WRs, an elite OL, and a scheme that works brilliantly against college opponents. He plays like he has answers to the test. It just won't be as easy at the next level.

There are times when Stroud guesses pre-snap, and locks on to a receiver, missing another open option post-snap. It usually happens when he's guessing his short option will be open and he misses someone down the field.

In the clip below, Ohio State is running a snag concept out of a tight bunch. Stroud looks to his flat route, but it's played by the corner. As soon as that happens he should work the high-low and see no one in the deep third to the field. He misses the wide-open corner route from the No. 2 receiver.

While the clip above doesn't show a clear escape hatch, the clip below shows Stroud's limitations in that area. Maryland gets a free runner, but he takes a while to get there and hesitates. The best scrambling QBs will find a way to get out of that sack. Stroud just doesn't have the juice or shiftiness to roll right or spin out, even with Maryland's pass-rushers off-balance.

In the clip below, Stroud does escape to his right but is unable to separate from incoming defenders. The defenders don't have great angles but Stroud doesn't have conviction when scrambling. It's just not a big part of his game.

It's obviously worth repeating that Stroud did run and create out of structure a lot more in Ohio State's most important game of the year. He's a decent athlete with enough speed to run for chunks when the defense gives him a lane. However, he takes way too long to decide to run and just isn't that creative outside of the pocket. It is worth noting that he is an experienced QB sneaking under center. That can be a huge weapon in today's NFL.

 

NFL Outlook

Stroud is a special prospect with natural accuracy and ball placement that translates in a big way. He also has ideal size and enough athleticism to escape when needed. While it's fair to wonder how he'll transition away from Ohio State's extremely QB-friendly system, his processing and preparation make him a good bet to adjust. Stroud won't have the same matchup advantages, but his commitment to getting the ball to his best receivers will be huge for his offense putting up points and stats. His even-keeled demeanor as a calm assassin will make him a great teammate and leader. I expect Stroud to be drafted in the top five and would not be shocked if he ended up as the No. 1 overall pick.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more draft content in the coming days.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!




Win More With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More NFL Rookie Analysis




POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Josh Berry8 mins ago

Grabs Another Top-10 Finish At Iowa
Ricky Stenhouse Jr11 mins ago

. Delivers Massive Day For DFS Players
Ryan Blaney23 mins ago

Secures Spot In Playoffs With Iowa Win
Hurston Waldrep1 hour ago

Shut Down For A Week
William Contreras2 hours ago

Avoids Concussion
NASCAR2 hours ago

Daniel Suárez Inches Up To Ninth Place Sunday
Gavin Williams2 hours ago

To Make Another Rehab Start Friday
Brad Keselowski2 hours ago

Holds On To Top-10 Finish At Iowa
Wilyer Abreu2 hours ago

To Begin Rehab Assignment Tuesday
2 hours ago

Athletics Designate J.D. Davis For Assignment
LaMonte Wade Jr.3 hours ago

Unlikely To Return Thursday
Mike Tauchman3 hours ago

Has Groin Tightness
David Hamilton3 hours ago

Exits With Side Discomfort
Amari Cooper3 hours ago

Andrew Berry: Amari Cooper "A Big Part Of Our Team"
Deshaun Watson3 hours ago

"Really Actually Ahead Of Schedule"
Blake Snell3 hours ago

To Throw Sim Game On Tuesday
Ladd McConkey3 hours ago

Signs Rookie Deal
Joe Musgrove4 hours ago

To Throw This Week
Yu Darvish4 hours ago

To Make Rehab Start On Wednesday
Christian Encarnacion-Strand4 hours ago

Moved To 60-Day Injured List
Dylan Crews4 hours ago

Promoted To Triple-A
James Wood4 hours ago

Expected To Start Playing In Games This Week
José Soriano4 hours ago

Jose Soriano Scratched With Abdominal Pain
Mookie Betts4 hours ago

Officially Goes On IL, Out 6-8 Weeks
Yimi García4 hours ago

Yimi Garcia Put On 15-Day Injured List
William Contreras4 hours ago

Not Playing On Monday
Rory McIlroy5 hours ago

Withdraws From Travelers Championship
Anthony Rizzo5 hours ago

Could Miss 4-6 Weeks With Fractured Arm
Tyler Reddick5 hours ago

Unlucky at Iowa, but Still a Relative Non-Factor Before That
Kyle Larson5 hours ago

Made Electrifying Charge Through Field at Iowa Until Late Race Crash
Denny Hamlin5 hours ago

Inexplicably Slow in Inaugural Iowa Race
Christopher Bell5 hours ago

the Sole Bright Spot for Toyota at Iowa
Jordan Lawlar5 hours ago

To Miss 4-6 Weeks
Shohei Ohtani5 hours ago

Moves Into Leadoff Spot
Klay Thompson6 hours ago

Open To All "External Options"
Martin Truex Jr8 hours ago

. Finishes One Lap Down In 15th At Iowa
Chase Elliott8 hours ago

Obtains A Great Finish Of Third At Iowa
Joey Logano9 hours ago

Finishes Sixth In The Iowa Corn 350
Alex Bowman9 hours ago

Rallies Through The Field To Finish Eighth At Iowa
William Byron9 hours ago

Exceeds Value In DFS At Iowa
Brandon Aiyuk10 hours ago

49ers Don't Want Brandon Aiyuk Back?
Tatsuro Taira11 hours ago

Remains Undefeated
Alex Perez11 hours ago

Unable To Continue After Suffering A Knee Injury
Garrett Armfield11 hours ago

Submitted At UFC Vegas 93
Brady Hiestand11 hours ago

Gets Third-Round Submission Win
Jose Johnson11 hours ago

Drops Decision At UFC Vegas 93
MMA12 hours ago

Asu Almbayev Extends Win Streak
NBA15 hours ago

Monty Williams Set To Remain With Pistons
Collin Sexton15 hours ago

Could Be On The Move Again
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope15 hours ago

Nuggets "Concerned" Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Will Decline His Player Option
Harrison Barnes15 hours ago

Kevin Huerter And Harrison Barnes Expected To Be Available On Trade Market
NBA15 hours ago

Mario Hezonja Linked With Return To NBA
Andre Drummond15 hours ago

Reportedly Looking For New Team
Jonas Valanciunas1 day ago

Pelicans Likely To "Move On" From Jonas Valanciunas
Jarrett Allen1 day ago

Pelicans Reportedly Interested In Jarrett Allen
Pittsburgh Steelers1 day ago

Cameron Heyward Wants To Retire A Pittsburgh Steeler
Luka Doncic1 day ago

Expected To Play On Monday Night
Kristaps Porzingis1 day ago

Questionable For Game 5
Josh Quinlan1 day ago

Losing Streak Hits Three At UFC Vegas 93
Adam Fugitt1 day ago

Edges Out Split Decision At UFC Vegas 93
Timmy Cuamba1 day ago

Still Winless In The UFC
Lucas Almeida1 day ago

Pulls Off Upset At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade1 day ago

Falls Short At UFC Vegas 93
Miles Johns1 day ago

Picks Up Decision Win At UFC Vegas 93
Daniel Suarez1 day ago

Why You Should Fade Daniel Suarez In DFS This Weekend At Iowa
Corey Lajoie1 day ago

Should You Roster Corey Lajoie In DFS This Weekend?
Carson Hocevar1 day ago

Will Start 20th At Iowa Speedway
NASCAR1 day ago

Bubba Wallace Will Start 16th At Iowa Speedway
Michael McDowell1 day ago

Might Have A Positive Result At Iowa
Joey Logano1 day ago

Could Joey Logano Be A Sneaky Tournament Play At Iowa?
Justin Haley1 day ago

Consider Justin Haley A Great Value Pick For Iowa?
Dak Prescott2 days ago

May Command More In Contract Talks
NFL2 days ago

Stephon Gilmore Not In A Rush To Sign A Deal
Isaiah Hartenstein2 days ago

Drawing Interest From Several Teams
Jarace Walker2 days ago

Could Be On The Move
Jalen Smith2 days ago

"Early Belief" Jalen Smith Will Decline Player Option
Tee Higgins2 days ago

Signs His Franchise Tender
Jaylen Brown3 days ago

Has A Rough Night On Friday
Jayson Tatum3 days ago

Quiet In Game 4
Luka Doncic3 days ago

Leads Mavs To A Much-Needed Win
Kristaps Porzingis3 days ago

Available For Game 4
Mikal Bridges3 days ago

Nets Still Not Interested In Trading Mikal Bridges
Tyrese Haliburton3 days ago

Making Progress With Recovery
Jarrett Stidham3 days ago

Has The Advantage Over Bo Nix
Tim Patrick3 days ago

Looking Healthy This Offseason
Jayden Daniels3 days ago

Commanders Sign Jayden Daniels To Rookie Deal
Tatsuro Taira3 days ago

Looks To Win 16th Fight In A Row
Alex Perez3 days ago

An Underdog At UFC Vegas 93
Brady Hiestand3 days ago

Looking To Extend His Win Streak
Garrett Armfield3 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 93
Jose Johnson3 days ago

Looks To Win Back-To-Back Fights
MMA3 days ago

Asu Almbayev Looks To Win His Third UFC Fight In A Row
Breece Hall3 days ago

Jets Being Cautious With Breece Hall
Atlanta Hawks3 days ago

Hawks Potentially Eyeing Donovan Clingan In NBA Draft
Leon Draisaitl4 days ago

On First Three-Game Scoring Drought Since March 2020
Connor McDavid4 days ago

Finishes Game 3 Loss With Two Assists
Sam Bennett4 days ago

Extends Point Streak To Six Games
Vladimir Tarasenko4 days ago

Nets Fourth Postseason Goal
Sam Reinhart4 days ago

Ends Goal Drought During Multi-Point Effort
Aleksander Barkov4 days ago

Establishes New Panthers Record With Eighth Multi-Point Outing
Darius Slayton4 days ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp
Cleveland Browns4 days ago

Myles Garrett Tweaks His Hamstring In Minicamp
Amari Cooper4 days ago

Holds Out Of Final Day Of Minicamp
Trevor Lawrence4 days ago

Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence Agree On Five-Year, $275 Million Extension
Alvin Kamara4 days ago

Skips Practice For Contract-Related Reasons
Courtland Sutton4 days ago

Hints At Training Camp Holdout
Gus Edwards4 days ago

"Likely" To Be Back For Training Camp
SJ4 days ago

Sharks Appoint Ryan Warsofsky As Head Coach
Jalen Chatfield4 days ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Kaapo Kakko4 days ago

Signs One-Year Extension With Rangers
Patrik Laine4 days ago

Poised To Move On From Columbus
Evan Rodrigues4 days ago

Promoted To First Line Thursday
Aleksander Barkov4 days ago

Will Play In Game 3 Versus Oilers
Juwan Johnson4 days ago

To Undergo Foot Surgery
Atlanta Falcons4 days ago

Falcons Lose 2025 Fifth-Round Pick Following Tampering Investigation
Josh Quinlan5 days ago

On Two-Fight Losing Streak
Adam Fugitt5 days ago

Could Be Fighting For His Job At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade5 days ago

Searching For 30th Career Win At UFC Vegas 93
Laurent Brossoit5 days ago

Maple Leafs Have "Mutual Interest"
Jaccob Slavin5 days ago

Working On Long-Term Extension With Hurricanes
Corey Perry5 days ago

Set To Re-Enter Oilers Lineup On Thursday
Evander Kane5 days ago

Uncertain For Thursday's Game 3
Darnell Nurse5 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov5 days ago

Practices On Wednesday, Will Travel To Edmonton
Keegan Bradley6 days ago

A Sleeper Pick At U.S. Open
Rickie Fowler6 days ago

Tough To Trust At U.S. Open
Tom Kim6 days ago

Striking The Ball Well Heading To Pinehurst
Sahith Theegala6 days ago

A Major Wild Card At Pinehurst
Tony Finau6 days ago

Seeking First Major Victory At U.S. Open
Cameron Smith6 days ago

The Best LIV Bet For U.S. Open
Ludvig Aberg6 days ago

Trust Ludvig Aberg At Pinehurst
Xander Schauffele6 days ago

A Top-10 Lock At U.S. Open
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

MORE RECENT ARTICLES

 

Late-Round Sleepers and Undervalued Picks for 2024 Fantasy Football

In every fantasy draft, managers focus heavily on their early-round picks. After all, these are the players who are going to lead your fantasy team. However, the late-round picks are just as important, especially if those "sleepers" turn out to be consistent fantasy options. Just look at the 2023 fantasy season, as several sleepers helped... Read More


Jaxon Smith-Njigba Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Ladd McConkey vs. Jaxon Smith-Njigba - Who Should I Draft in 2024 Fantasy Football?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Ladd McConkey are young wide receivers with unlimited upside. With Smith-Njigba playing in his second season and McConkey about to get his first taste of NFL action, they should have a long way to go in building successful pro football careers. Luckily, some great offensive minds can help them succeed. Smith-Njigba will... Read More


James Cook - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Players To Fade for Fantasy Football Best Ball Drafts Include Josh Jacobs, James Cook, Chris Olave, David Njoku, more

Fantasy football best ball drafts and contests continue to grow and grow each year. The number of tournaments and strategies deployed surrounding the format is exploding, which means we must stay sharp! Social media is filled with best ball builds and screenshots of different approaches. It's everywhere! But before you can win these leagues, you... Read More


Drake London - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Targets and Fades - FFPC Main Event Contest

Even though the calendar still shows it's the first half of June, fantasy football drafts are back in full swing in many best ball leagues, tournaments, and high-stakes contests. These early drafts can help all fantasy football managers get a feel for how the market perceives players and where they will end up in drafts... Read More


Geno Smith - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

Fantasy Football Preview - Seattle Seahawks Edition

This new 32-part series will dissect each NFL team through a fantasy football lens. We'll look at each of the four primary positions—quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end—and identify each player's value at their current ADP. Through this series, we'll also recognize players fantasy managers should avoid and target at their current ADP.... Read More


Ricky Pearsall - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Five Fantasy Football Rookies That Will Fail To Make An Instant Impact In 2024

In recent years, we have seen more rookies than ever before provide immediate fantasy football results. Just last year, we watched Puka Nacua and C.J. Stroud have impressive debut seasons. However, not every rookie can make an immediate impact. Whether it’s due to circumstances or lack of experience, there are times when first-year players disappoint.... Read More


UFL RANKINGS, FANTASY FOOTBALL,

Free UFL Betting Picks - Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for the UFL Championship

Sadly and sweetly, we have reached the conclusory game of the 2024 UFL season. I am already yearning for the start of the 2025 season and eager to follow along as the draft happens, the rosters change, and 2024 stars get their NFL opportunities. There is plenty to reflect on: the great attendance numbers for... Read More


Sneaky QB1 Candidates? 2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

The NFL season is right around the corner, which means that fantasy football drafts will soon take place. Drafting your fantasy team is one of the most exciting times for managers. But it also is one of the most stressful times, especially when making certain decisions like when is the best time to draft a... Read More


Isiah Pacheco - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Running Backs

League Winners for Fantasy Football Best Ball: Draft Targets Include Isiah Pacheco, Jameson Williams, Christian Watson, Mark Andrews, more

Fantasy football best ball drafts continue to build momentum as an entertaining way to play fantasy football. As the hype around drafting teams grows throughout the preseason, the appetite for more BB contests continues to grow without putting more in-season management on drafters' plates. Best ball is a format where you draft a team and... Read More


Jaylen Waddle - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

Dynasty Fantasy Football - 2023 Fantasy Football Busts To Buy In 2024

When a player busts, confidence begins to drain. However, separating facts from feelings is easier when they are not on your team to begin with.  Some preseason-hyped players were total busts in 2023. Many fantasy football managers will avoid these players in 2024 drafts, but should they? Taking advantage while their perception is down, or... Read More


Demario Douglas - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Cheap Dynasty Fantasy Football Buys With Upside in 2024 - Fantasy Football Outlook

Let’s be honest. When it comes to dynasty fantasy football, the ultimate goal is to win championships. Drafting rookies and playing scout is fun, but the only thing people remember is who wins titles. One of the most integral parts of playing dynasty fantasy football is recognizing marketplace inefficiencies and acting on them accordingly. Player... Read More


DraftKings Best Ball 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings and Tiers (Top 350)

Hello and welcome to RotoBaller's DraftKings Best Ball Fantasy Football Rankings for 2024 Best Ball leagues on DraftKings. A reminder that on the DraftKings Fantasy platform, NFL best ball leagues only have four potential positions -- Quarterback (QB), Running Back (RB), Wide Receiver (WR), and Tight End (TE). You will see these four positions in... Read More


Tyjae Spears - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears - Fantasy Football Outlook for Tennessee Titans RBs in 2024

The Tennessee Titans backfield underwent significant changes this offseason. Longtime starter Derrick Henry left for the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. Tennessee’s offense has been centered around Henry for years, and this rushing attack will have a very different look in 2024. While Henry is gone, second-year back Tyjae Spears remains in the fold. The... Read More