If Davis Mills fails, the Texans should target Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud for the 2023 NFL draft

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Part of the genius of the Houston Texans’ trade with the Cleveland Browns last month is it set them up with an additional first-round picks in the next three drafts. The extra picks allow time to figure out what they have in Davis Mills, assemble a quality roster before putting together a draft package to get a franchise quarterback.

Should Mills not work out for Houston, a quarterback they shoulder consider is Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

According to Anthony Treash from Pro Football Focus, Stroud is one of the presumptive signal callers that is the cream of the crop heading into the 2022 season.

He’s definitively a Round 1 prospect in 2023, but he has things to work on if he’s to become the top guy. The biggest flaw is inconsistent mechanics. Far too often, Stroud locks his front knee and doesn’t fire his throwing hip through. He’s lacking core control, which is evident when he throws with his right leg lifted high up in the air.

Stroud is in a favorable position that provides him with ample open receivers to throw to, but when passing into smaller windows, he hasn’t been as pinpoint. His uncatchable pass rate throwing to a tight or closing window ranked 44th of 67 qualifying Power Five quarterbacks in 2021. Stroud’s negatively graded throw rate overall was right around the 50th percentile among that same group.

If Cleveland’s quarterback faces any suspension this season, it could impact the Browns’ ability to be competitive, which would drive up the value of their pick that Houston owns. If Mills isn’t the guy, they believe Stroud is, the Texans can put together a decent package in 2023 to take their Buckeye solution to the quarterback problem.

First, the Texans have to get through the 2022 NFL draft. Make no mistake that by June assistant directors of player personnel James Liipfert and Matt Bazirgan will be working with the scouts on their 2023 draft work, and Stroud will be a part of the conversation.

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Texans Wire 7-round mock draft: Houston goes with Ikem Ekwonu, Kyle Hamilton, RBs

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