NFL Draft: Texans select Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud with No. 2 pick

The Houston Texans have selected Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick of the NFL Draft.

Stroud is the second quarterback off the board after the Carolina Panthers selected Alabama's Bryce Young first overall.

Stroud arrived at Ohio State as a four-star high school player and exceeded those expectations while developing into a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and coveted NFL prospect. He started two years for the Buckeyes, where he averaged 4,062 yards, 42.5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions per season while completing 69.3% of his passes. Ohio State finished 11-2 and in the top 6 in each of his two seasons. He led Ohio State to a Rose Bowl victory after the 2021 campaign, throwing for 573 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception in a 48-45 win over Utah.

At 6-3 and 215 pounds, Stroud possesses ideal size for a quarterback. He has a strong arm and the ability to accurately hit receivers in stride and in tight windows. He performed well against top competition, including a 348-yard, 4-touchdown, 0-interception effort against a Georgia defense stacked with NFL talent in a 42-41 loss in last season's CFP national semifinal.

Stroud's projected status was one of the biggest questions heading into draft day. He's not a playmaker with his feet, having tallied 136 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 1.7 yards per carry during his time at Ohio State. A reported low score on a pre-draft cognition test raised speculation that his stock was falling. Stroud addressed criticism of the test result while arguing that his football ability speaks for itself.

"I'm not a test-taker, I play football," Stroud said on Wednesday. "At the end of the day, I don't got nothing to prove to nobody, so I'm not going to sit here and explain how I process football. The people who are making the picks know what I can do, so that's all that matters to me."

The Texans agreed and invested the No. 2 pick in Stroud believing that he's their long-term answer at quarterback. Stroud is the second quarterback drafted by the Texans in three years after they selected Davis Mills in the third round in 2021. Mills has started the bulk of each of his two seasons in Houston as a bridge quarterback from the Deshaun Watson era. The selection of Stroud confirms that Mills' days as Houston's starter are numbered.