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Why the Las Vegas Raiders should go all-in for C.J. Stroud, avoid Aaron Rodgers

While the Aaron Rodgers watch kicks off with the Las Vegas Raiders, members of Raider Nation know the NFL is a chess game and the future depends on stockpiling young talent. They are more concerned and excited about who the team will build around five or even 10 years from now. If the Raiders trade for Rodgers in a win-now move, getting a young heir-apparent might not be a top priority.

But the Raiders should not go after Rodgers and instead opt to look toward the future. They should do whatever they can to make it possible to select Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Stroud has been making waves in college football and is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. In this post, we will explain why Stroud is the best quarterback available in the 2023 draft and why he would be a perfect fit for the Raiders and head coach Josh McDaniels.

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C.J. Stroud’s impressive college resume

las vegas raiders draft c.j. stroud
Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

First, let’s look at Stroud’s college career. At Ohio State, Stroud displayed that he is a cerebral quarterback with a strong arm and phenomenal accuracy. In his junior season, he completed 66.3% of his passes for 3,688 yards and 41 touchdowns against just six interceptions.

These numbers are impressive and demonstrate that Stroud has the skills to be a successful NFL quarterback, which is why he is considered a high first-round draft pick in April.

C.J. Stroud as a good fit for the Las Vegas Raiders

Stroud’s skill-set would be a perfect fit for the Josh McDaniels and the Raiders. McDaniels is known for running a complex and dynamic offense that requires a quarterback with a strong arm and accuracy. Stroud’s arm strength and accuracy would allow him to effectively run McDaniels’ offense and make all the necessary throws.

Additionally, although he’s not a running quarterback, Stroud’s mobility would add another dimension to the Raiders’ offense and give them the ability to run more designed quarterback runs.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders and Josh Jacobs have yet to discuss contract extension

C.J. Stroud’s stock will rise

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Ohio State at Georgia
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s also worth noting that many NFL experts believe that Stroud is the best quarterback available in the 2023 draft. ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently stated that “Stroud has all the tools to be a top-tier quarterback in the NFL.” This sentiment is echoed by other experts in the NFL community and further solidifies the case for Stroud being the best quarterback in the draft. Despite this, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Kentucky’s Will Levis are potentially slated to be picked ahead of the talented Stroud.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the statistics that back up the argument for Stroud. Stroud has thrown for over 8,000 yards and 85 touchdowns in the past three seasons. And let me add, in his “third” season, when he was a sophomore, he played in just two games and recorded just one rush and no passes.

Those stats are a two-year proposition, making them even more impressive. The numbers demonstrate that Stroud is a consistent and productive quarterback who can make an immediate impact in the NFL — perhaps as a starter in his rookie season.

Related: Update on Derek Carr situation with the Las Vegas Raiders

Will Stroud be available to the Las Vegas Raiders?

Unless Stroud suffers a setback in his pro day, the Ohio State star won’t be available to the Raiders with the seventh pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

This means the Raiders may have to trade up to get Stroud. If they do, the only natural spot to target would be the third overall pick owned by the Arizona Cardinals. If the Raiders feel strongly about Stroud and want to make the bold move they need for the future, they’ll have to pay the price.

In order to build a winning formula and become relevant in the AFC West, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud should be the first-round draft pick of the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2023 NFL Draft. Stroud has the talent, skill set, and statistics to be a successful NFL quarterback and would be a perfect fit for the Raiders and McDaniels. It’s the bold move this franchise needs to take to compete in the QB-rich AFC West and to make a clear statement the future is at hand.

While the thrill of getting a great talent like Rodgers might be appealing, the Raiders, after over two decades of missteps, have an opportunity to build back into a winning franchise and do it with talent as rich as Stroud.

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