ARIZONA CARDINALS

Ohio State QB and potential top-3 pick C.J. Stroud declares for 2023 NFL Draft

Jan 16, 2023, 8:15 PM
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) passes against Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. (2) durin...

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) passes against Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. (2) during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Ohio State standout quarterback and potential top-three pick C.J. Stroud declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on Monday via his Twitter.

Arizona Cardinals fans can exhale after reports that Stroud was considering a return to Columbus for another season, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the QB’s tough decision was not N.I.L. related but because of the love for his teammates.

“This process has been difficult, and the decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Stroud said in the statement.

“As a kid, I dreamed of playing football at the highest level, and after much prayer, I’ve made the decision that it’s time to turn those dreams into a reality.”

The move is key for those in the Valley as there are now two quarterbacks in Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young committed to the draft who are head and shoulders above the rest of the prospects at that position with Arizona holding the No. 3 overall pick.

Depending on what the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans do ahead of the Cardinals with selections and trades will determine whether Arizona will have their choice of either the top non-quarterback or be in a position to trade back for assets with a team eyeing the QBs.

Stroud put up a gaudy 8,123 passing yards with a 69.3 completion percentage, 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over his two years as the starter.

He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in back-to-back years from 2021-22 en route to finishing third in Heisman voting this season, the highest for a Buckeye since Troy Smith won the award in 2006. He was a Heisman finalist both years at the helm for the Buckeyes.

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