Michigan showed what Texans need to fix if they draft Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

C.J. Stroud is neck and neck with Alabama’s Bryce Young for the top quarterback in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft class.

The 21-year-old from Rancho Cucamonga went 31-of-48 for 349 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 45-23 loss to Michigan. Ohio State wasn’t able to prevent the Wolverines from earning their first victory in Columbus since 2000.

Stroud played a good game. The reality is when he goes to the NFL, he may not have as great of a supporting cast as he has with the Buckeyes.

If the Texans decide Stroud is the answer under center, here are some areas they will need to address in the offseason.

1. Run game

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Rookie running back Dameon Pierce does all that he can for Houston’s offense, but as a team, the Texans are paltry on the ground with 4.2 yards per carry — tied for ninth-lowest in the NFL — and 93.7 rushing yards per game, the fourth-fewest in the league.

A productive run game would give Stroud the complement a rookie quarterback would need so that he didn’t feel the entire offense fell upon his shoulders. The Texans will have to upgrade at center or their right guard spot to start getting a more effective push up front.

2. Pass protection

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The Texans have Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard both under contract through the 2023 season. While Houston picked up the fifth-year option of Howard’s rookie contract, Tunsil’s last year will count $35.2 million against the salary cap, although the team has an out in the 2023 offseason, but would have to pay a little over $16 million in dead money.

Nevertheless dominant pass protection would help Stroud as he only took one sack on the afternoon. Michigan defenders weren’t able to get near Stroud otherwise.

3. Provide an assortment of weapons

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The Texans have a promising young wideout in Nico Collins, and the former third-rounder from Michigan should take another step in his development in his third season.

However the Texans have question marks aside from Collins, who has 28 catches for 402 yards and a touchdown. Will the Texans rip off the Band-Aid and send Brandin Cooks packing? Will 2022 second-rounder John Metchie be able to play? Chris Moore and Phillip Dorsett can provide only so much in the passing game. The Texans may need to get another target for Stroud in the draft and possibly pick up a quality veteran in free agency.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire