IT WAS ALWAYS HIM pic.twitter.com/ou98njPYKZ— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 28, 2023
AND WE GOT 'EM BOTH pic.twitter.com/yMMh3LgSoO— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 28, 2023
Can you believe this? Can you believe that, after three straight years of mediocre to poor drafting and even worse on-field performance, the Houston Texans absolutely NAILED the first round in unexpected fashion. Houston’s new coaching staff was ready to reap the full rewards of a “rebuilding” 2022 season, and they did so by getting a franchise savior on both sides of the ball!
With their first pick, second overall, the Houston Texans selected (in my opinion) the best quarterback of the draft, C.J. Stroud. Then, in a fluttering of seconds, traded with the Arizona Cardinals to leap up to the third overall pick, where they took Alabama superstar edge rusher Will Anderson, Jr. Will Anderson Jr. has been seen by the NFL cognoscenti as one of the best, if not the best defender coming out of college football for well over a year, and C.J. Stroud has been the best thrower of the football in the country since he became the starter for Ohio State at 19(!) years old. This guy just got old enough to buy a drink in October and he already has two seasons of stunning, unbelievable quarterback play at the highest level of college football under his belt. There’s a chance that his ceiling hasn’t even been discovered yet, and he’s already more than capable of starting in the NFL.
And once you wrap your head around the stratospheric potential of a backfield with Dameon Pierce and Stroud behind an offensive line riddled with quality players, you remember that Will Anderson Jr. is going to be lining up on the other side of the ball with DeMeco Ryans coaching him every day. What kind of miracle is this?
How did the Texans, after all these years of goofing up their chances, finally see the light and set their entire team up for a bright future? Well, I really have no idea, but coming to their senses last night and taking the two most talented players still available at #2 and #3 has just changed the trajectory of this franchise. Will Anderson Jr.’s ridiculous three-year production at Alabama speaks to both his talent and his potential in the NFL, and paired with a healthy Jonathan Greenard and surprisingly impactful Jerry Hughes, there’s some real juice on the edge to stop both the run and pass.
Who’s going to stop C.J. Stroud, though? I mean, have you seen his college highlights? Have you seen his game against Georgia? Have you SEEN him THROW THE FOOTBALL? I’m by no means an Ohio State fan, but when he threw this pass in his second game as a starter at Ohio State, there was no discussion in my mind who I’d want the Texans future quarterback to be:
(Credit: CJ Stroud 2021 Season Highlights - Colton Denning)
It’s just comical. I mean, it’s just hilarious how perfect his 20, 30, and 40-yard passes are, and there’s one like this every game. Every single game, C.J. Stroud throws a pass that makes you think the other team should get some kind of leg up to compensate for him. But they can’t, and there’s no way to compensate for him. There’s no way, neither in college football nor the NFL, to compensate for this:
(Credit: C. J. Stroud | 2022 Highlights - Sports Productions)
It’s just so funny. What a funny guy, can you believe he’s going to be a Houston Texan? Now all the Texans have to do is draft someone like UNC receiver Josh Downs or Tennessee receiver Cedric Tillman, and suddenly scoring 30+ points a game doesn’t seem like a dream, but an expectation. The Texans are BACK!!!!
If you’re in the mood to fanboy out like me, feel free to check out any of these highlights are tape studies of C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson below. Or, better yet, tell us what you think about these two players in the comments below! Day 1 of the draft was a miracle, what can be in store for us in day two?