Could C.J. Stroud be the best quarterback in Ohio State history?
It might be hard to anoint a quarterback who has only played one year of college football the best quarterback prospect to ever come out of his school. This is especially hard to do this when the school has produced more first-round picks than any school with a total of 87 players being drafted that high. However, that is the case with Ohio State and quarterback C.J. Stroud.
In his one season as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback, C.J. Stroud was named first-team All-Big Ten and was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award. Overall on the season, he accounted for 4.435 passing yards and 44 touchdowns including six in the Rose Bowl.
When looking at his skillset several things stand out about C.J. Stroud which makes him an elite prospect. The first one is his outstanding arm strength which allows him to throw the deep ball easily. He also displays consistent accuracy having completed over 64% of his passes in all but two games last year.
However, the thing that separates him from most including the other player who finished his career with Ohio State Justin Fields is his high-level football IQ. This area of his game stands out in several areas including how prepared he is for his upcoming opponent. He also shows good processing on the field being able to consistently go through his reads and having only thrown six interceptions last year.
While his lack of mobility could be a concern for some teams and Justin Fields was a much better athlete the skill that most coaches look for first is his overall intelligence. This is stressed by coaches since they want someone who they can count on to not turn the ball over, and can make the correct read time after time. This skill is also important as it shows he is the type of leader his team will follow, and that he has the drive and dedication to lead his team in the right direction.
The biggest competition for the top Ohio State quarterback prospect in school history is Justin Fields who fell all the way to the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and it is very unlikely Stroud falls that far. Another quarterback who went in the first round is the late Dwayne Haskins but he struggled significantly during his time in the leagued especially when it came to making the correct reads which is where Stroud excels. The one quarterback who likely would have challenged Stroud for the top spot is Joe Burrow but he saw very limited playing time in Columbus and didn’t break out until he got to LSU.