Falcons Potential Draft Target: C.J. Stroud

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The Falcons are set to have one of the easier schedules next season. They will face each of the last-place finishers in the conference and play in arguably the worst division in football. With another solid offseason, they could be playoff contenders, but they will never truly be able to compete for championships until they figure out the quarterback position. Perhaps Desmond Ridder is the answer, or maybe they trade for a more proven signal caller, but one avenue that doesn’t seem to be talked about much is taking a quarterback in the first round. This draft class is loaded with talented passers, and C.J. Stroud could be the best of the bunch.

C.J. Stroud Draft Profile

Many expect Bryce Young to be the top quarterback off the board in a few months. That’s the direction I would go, but Stroud did enough this season to belong in the conversation.

There’s not much to criticize when talking about his time at Ohio State. He led the most dynamic offense in the country in back-to-back seasons, throwing 85 touchdowns compared to just 12 interceptions while completing 69.3% of his passes.

Standing 6’3″ and weighing 215 pounds, Stroud has the ideal size for an NFL quarterback with plus-athleticism. However, just because he can run, as we saw in several key moments in the CFP Semifinal game against Georgia, doesn’t mean he’s looking to in the pocket. In fact, It’s quite the opposite.

Stroud is constantly in command of the offense, looking for big plays in the passing game. He features a strong arm that is incredibly accurate, particularly down the field. Stroud also does a fantastic job of protecting the football. Running is a last resort, but it’s something he will likely utilize more against better defenses in the NFL.

There aren’t too many knocks to what Stroud brings to the table. His technique could improve in the pocket, but that’s something that can easily be fixed with proper coaching at the next level. From what I’ve seen, there’s no reason to believe Stroud won’t be a starting-caliber NFL quarterback with a ceiling that’s much higher. He has a high football IQ, can read defenses, has good arm strength with accuracy, and is athletic. With the Falcons still unsure about the future at quarterback, I would love to see them make a blockbuster move up the board for C.J. Stroud.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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