Ohio State star quarterback C.J. Stroud declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on Monday, the last day to do so. Las Vegas Raiders fans rejoiced across social media immediately after. But is this declaration really something Raider Nation should get excited about? Keep in mind, folks, that it’s still January.
C.J. Stroud finally declares for the NFL Draft; Raider Nation rejoices.
CJ Stroud to the #Raiders #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/0wcU7CeYmq
— Reigns Design (@ReignsDsn) January 12, 2023
Stroud, who stands at 6’3″ and approximately 218 lbs., is a very efficient pocket passer who can read a defense and has a cannon of an arm. Stroud may not be the mobile quarterback many Raiders fans are begging for, but Stroud is an athlete who has all the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback.
C.J. Stroud with a big touchdown pass to the best WR in the country, Marvin Harrison Jr! CJ and Marv connect for a 58 yard TD. #IUvsOSU #CFB #OhioState pic.twitter.com/E3C1QKTiGh
— Swapty Sports (@SwaptySports) November 12, 2022
The issue for fans of the Silver and Black is that Stroud probably won’t be available to the Raiders if they remain at their current draft position, the 7th overall pick. The Raiders trail two quarterback-needy teams, as shown below.
- Houston Texans (2nd pick)
- Indianapolis Colts (4th pick)
Plus, the first overall pick is owned by the Chicago Bears, who may trade that pick to an anxious team below them hoping to score Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Stroud seems to jump around between the top-ranked quarterback in the draft (Drafttek) and the 2nd-ranked quarterback (Walter Football) and is even listed as the third-best quarterback behind Kentucky’s Will Levis (NFLDraftBuzz).
If the hype around Levis continues to grow, there is a chance that Stroud could fall down big boards. He might even possibly fall to the Raiders at 7. If Raiders fans want to be wearing a No. 7 Stroud jersey next season, they need to hope that Dave Ziegler gets creative. Whether that’s in trading away Derek Carr or moving around draft capital, that should go without saying. It’s easy to daydream about Stroud switching from throwing touchdowns to Marvin Harrison Jr. to Davante Adams. Be that as it may, expectations surrounding C.J. Stroud as a Raider should be tempered.
*Top Photo: Pro Football Focus