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Missing out on No. 1 pick, landing Stroud 'best thing' to happen to Texans

Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Houston Texans seem confident that C.J. Stroud is the right guy at quarterback.

"The best thing that happened to the Houston Texans franchise was us beating the Indianapolis Colts last game, last year," tight end Brevin Jordan said Sunday, according to ESPN's DJ Bien-Aime. "We drafted the right guy. Man, he's a leader. He's a phenomenal player and a phenomenal guy with God-given talent. Dude, he's unbelievable."

That 32-31 victory over the Colts moved the Texans from the No. 1 pick to the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and gave the Chicago Bears the top selection. The Carolina Panthers traded for the first pick and selected quarterback Bryce Young, leaving Stroud on the board for the Texans at second overall.

The early returns on Stroud have been promising; the rookie became the first passer in NFL history to have at least 900 yards passing, four passing touchdowns, and no interceptions through three starts after Houston upset the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-17 on Sunday.

Stroud (906) also joined Cam Newton (1,012) and Justin Herbert (931) as the only signal-callers in NFL history to throw for at least 906 yards through three starts.

DeMeco Ryans, who was hired by the team this offseason and earned his first NFL victory as a head coach Sunday, praised Stroud praise as well.

"Sky is the limit for C.J.," Ryans said. "He just keeps his head down and keeps working. C.J. is a very humble young man. Everything starts with the quarterback, and we have a good one who's doing really good things. ... He's been a leader for us as an offensive unit, and it's impressive to see a young man continue to get better each week and lead that group."

Stroud has 906 yards and four touchdowns on 78-of-121 (64.5%) passing this season. He also has 10 carries for 35 yards.

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