Even if you don't want to overreact in either direction, it's hard to imagine not thinking that Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has looked like the goods. On Sunday in Week 5, he threw for 249 yards, led a late go-ahead touchdown drive (though the defense made that for naught) and set the NFL record for most passes without an interception to start a player's career.
Sure, the Texans might only be off to a 2-3 start, but that hasn't been the fault of Stroud. The rookie signal-caller is averaging just shy of 300 yards per game and has seven touchdowns to his zero interceptions. And if you believe in the eye test, he's wholeheartedly looked the part with his poise, decision-making, and playmaking.
Yes, the Texans took Stroud No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft after Bryce Young came off the board first. So ostensibly, only the two teams that were at the No. 1 pick had a chance to get Stroud. But with the pre-draft uncertainty about which QBs would go where, it's hard to believe that none of these four teams didn't either draft or at least try to trade up to take the Ohio State product.
4. Chicago Bears should've stayed at No. 1 to draft C.J. Stroud
On one hand, you have to respect the belief from Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles and the rest of the front office for wanting to give Justin Fields every opportunity to be the franchise quarterback he was initially drafted to be. And to be fair, in the past two games, Fields has looked much better, most notably as a passer.
Having said that, the jury remains out as to whether or not Fields is actually a viable franchise QB. He's been maddeningly inconsistent or ineffective as a passer in his career to this point. Adding D.J. Moore to the offense this season appears to have helped a great deal, but some of the issue remains Fields himself.
The Bears, of course, were sitting at the top of the NFL Draft at season's end last year, but ultimately traded that selection to the Carolina Panthers instead. In a vacuum, that decision makes sense. They wanted another look at Fields in a perceived better situation, accrue draft capital to replenish a bad overall roster and to potentially set up a future replacement for Fields, and simply not hit a hard reset just yet.
Hindsight being 20/20, though, the Bears blew it. Stroud is already looking like a better NFL quarterback than Fields five games into his career. Even worse, one could argue that the supporting cast is worse than the one in Chicago. As such, it's hard not to feel like a massive missed opportunity by Poles and the Bears regime.