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PFT's 2023 NFL offensive rookie of the year: C.J. Stroud

It's awards time. We'll hand out nine in all. And we'll get started by giving the best youngsters from 2023 their due.

The PFT offensive rookie of the year is Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Like all 2023 awards, it was based on a vote of the five writers, with no thumb on the scale (or David Tepper-style veto) from me. And this one wasn't easy. Rams receiver Puka Nacua had a historic season, breaking the 63-year-old record for rookie receiving yardage.

But Stroud propelled a beleaguered franchise to the playoffs, with incredible performances. And just as it was looking like Puka might take it from Stroud, Stroud threw a long touchdown pass to Nico Collins on Houston's first play from scrimmage in the Week 18 game that clinched a highly unlikely playoff berth.

Before the season started, no one thought the Texans had a chance to make the playoffs. No one. They did in large part because of Stroud.

He finished with the third most passing yards for a rookie, despite missing two games due to a concussion. And he took the Texans to a place no one thought they'd go.

And they're possibly just getting started.

For Stroud, and with apologies to Nacua, it was a special start, one that makes him the PFT 2023 offensive rookie of the year.

Also getting consideration were Lions tight end Sam LaPorta and Ravens receiver Zay Flowers. Congrats to all of them for a great first NFL season.