The Houston Texans have made it clear that C.J Stroud, who the team selected second-overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, is the future of the franchise. But when will Stroud officially be the starting quarterback? The answer is unclear.
Back in 2017, when the Texans drafted Deshaun Watson, most people wanted to see him start immediately against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Houston decided to start Tom Savage. Savage was benched at halftime and in came rookie Watson, who started for the rest of the season, until he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The quarterbacks on the Texans roster currently include C.J Stroud, Davis Mills, and Case Keenum. Keenum was brought to Houston to be an emergency quarterback if needed, and to be a mentor to the younger players around him, meaning he is more than likely not going to be starting for Houston.
The Texans drafted Mills in the third-round of the 2021 NFL Draft and started 11 games in 2021, and 15 games in 2022. Mills showed some promise throughout that stretch, but clearly did not do enough to remain the starter in Houston.
If Stroud can take the lead, and showcase his impressive skillset that allowed him to be drafted so high, he will be named the starter sooner rather than later. The early returns on Stroud are extremely positive, and it feels like the team is fully behind him before training camp has even started.
One thing that will absolutely be present from Stroud early on is rookie mistakes, like every other young quarterback. The good news is that making those mistakes early will allow him to learn and grow into a potentially dominant quarterback in the league.
During organized training activities earlier this offseason, new Texans defensive coordinator Matt Burke mentioned a story about Stroud, talking about how the young rookie made a mistake and immediately approached Burke and wanted to know how he can improve and not make the same mistake twice.
It will be interesting to see how the Texans handle the starting quarterback situation moving forward, but it will not be a surprise to see Stroud receive that title in the near future.