The first selection of the draft in any professional sport should be a sure thing in regard to their future potential. Despite the ability to choose any amateur athlete a team wishes, the pick seems to turn out to be a bust as often as they deliver the goods.
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud was the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was selected by the Houston Texans to lead the franchise out of the doldrums caused by the fiasco created by former QB DeSean Watson.
Four games into the 2023-24 NFL season, Stroud is paying off for the Texans. Legal NFL betting sites have placed him in a commanding lead in the current NFL Offensive ROY odds, 300 points ahead of Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, who is second overall.
2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
- CJ Stroud +150
- Bijan Robinson +450
- Anthony Richardson +500
- Puka Nacua +500
- Devon Achane +1200
- Zay Flowers +2500
- Jahmyr Gibbs +3300
Stroud has led the Texans to two wins and two losses, sporting the same 2-2 record as the remainder of the AFC South Division. There is a solid chance of earning a playoff berth in year one with Stroud, as the division is ripe for the taking.
The Texans’ odds for betting on the NFL Playoffs feature them as the fourth-ranked team in the AFC South. Their +425 odds to win the division will deliver $4.25 in gains for each dollar wagered. As Houston reels off wins, these odds will sink closer to even, so it is wise to wager now if you believe they’ll capture the AFC South Championship.
Here are C.J.’s statistics through four games.
C.J. Stroud’s Stats Entering Week 5
- 94 completions, 151 attempts, 62.3% completion percentage, 1,212 yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
The most impressive stat is his zero interceptions through four contests. He has shown poise that is usually reserved for multi-year veterans and has created studs out of his top two wide receivers.
His number one target, Nico Collins, has 22 receptions for 428 yards and 3 touchdowns. WR Tank Dell has also been impressive, hauling in 16 catches for 267 yards and 2 TDs.
A potential sleeper to win the Offensive ROY honors is Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua. He is currently garnering 5-to-1 odds to win, and he is arguably playing better than any other first-year player – including Stroud.
Through four games, Nacua has caught 39 receptions for 501 yards and a touchdown. If he can keep up this blistering pace, his stats project out to 165 catches for 2,129 yards.
The record for most catches in a season belongs to the New Orleans Saints Michael Thomas, who brought in 149 in 2019. The mark for most receiving yards was set in 2012 by the Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson with 1,964.
If Nacua exceeds either of these all-time marks, there is no way he won’t become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, even if the Texans make it to the playoffs.