C.J. Stroud SWOT analysis: NFL analyst breaks down why Buckeyes QB is top of the class

2022 Heisman Trophy Presentation
Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud

C.J. Stroud made headlines recently when he declared himself eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft just before the official deadline to do so. He chose to bypass another college football season with the Ohio State Buckeyes and enter the 2023 draft process. He's projected by many to be one of the top overall picks this year.

NFL analyst Todd McShay specializes in breaking down prospects ahead of each NFL Draft. He recently appeared on an episode of First Draft to discuss what he sees in C.J. Stroud as one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.

When asked by host Field Yates about the pros and cons of C.J. Stroud's game, here's what Todd McShay had to say:

"He layers the ball perfectly. I mean, yes, he's had first-round draft picks at wide receiver the last couple of years. He certainly benefits from the fact that he's got guys around him that are going to play at a high level in the NFL. But the way he throws the ball from inside the pocket. Short, intermediate, deep, it doesn't matter. The touch, the timing, the ball placement, it's exactly what you want to see, and sometimes it's so beautiful. If you put together a highlight reel of his best ten passes, it's better than any other quarterback in this class."

McShay countered with one of Stroud's biggest flaws:

"The knock on him has always been, 'Why isn't he using his mobility?' He's a good athlete, but when pressure comes, there seems to be a bit of a panic."

McShay explained that Stroud is capable of overcoming it:

"Then against Georgia, it was like someone got in his ear. Maybe Ryan Day or the coaching staff said listen, 'We need you to use those legs, use the mobility that you have if we're going to have any chance against a pass rush that's going to be on you all day.' And he accepted the challenge."
Ohio State's C.J. Stroud's final college game was his best one. @McShay13 breaks down his strengths and limitations on First Draft.

Todd McShay clearly demonstrates that the pros outweigh the cons for C.J. Stroud. He mentioned one major flaw in his game, which he was able to overcome against the Georgia Bulldogs. He had one of the best defenses in the entire country during the Peach Bowl as part of the College Football Playoffs. This is one of the reasons he's projected to be one of the top picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Will C.J. Stroud be the first quarterback selected in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud
Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud

The 2023 NFL Draft features three quarterbacks as the consensus top three prospects at the position. Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud joins Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats.


All three quarterbacks are expected to go near the top of the first round and potentially within the top ten picks. Given their current betting odds, Bryce Young is projected to be the first quarterback selected, followed by C.J. Stroud, and then Will Levis.

It will likely come down to a matter of preference for the NFL team on the clock, as all three of them possess the potential to be the best quarterback prospects this year.

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Edited by Neha Buswal
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