2023 mock NFL Draft 3.0: Final 11th-hour edition (with trades)

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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C.J. Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes
Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) evades pressure from the Georgia Bulldogs during the second quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 812. . Quarterback. Buckeyes . C.J. Stroud. 2

On the clock: Pick No. 2: Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State

Mock Draft 1.0 – Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama (Houston Texans)
Mock Draft 2.0 – C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State (Houston Texans)

The big news coming out of the Houston Texans camp is that they might decide to trade the No. 2 pick because they’re not sold on C.J. Stroud as a prospect, in part because Stroud shares the same agent as former quarterback Deshaun Watson.

While this seems very dubious and more likely a smokescreen, it feels like there might be more to this than normal rumors. The Texans are unlikely to deal with divisional rivals such as the Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts that need a quarterback, so here the Atlanta Falcons make a big jump to grab a franchise guy.

Stroud threw for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and six interceptions for the season with Ohio State as the team made it to the college playoff. Stroud is a much more prototypical quarterback than Young and doesn’t use his leg speed as much, instead preferring to throw from the pocket. That being said, he did show the ability to break the game open with his scrambling in the college playoffs.

Stroud ticked all the boxes at his Pro Day too and couldn’t have done anything more to give himself a shot to be the No. 1 pick.