As expected, C.J. Stroud will be under center for the Houston Texans in Week 1.

The Texans tabbed the No. 2 overall pick as their starting quarterback for the 2023 season following Sunday’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, the team announced.

“It was something I worked for and earned. It’s a blessing,” Stroud said Sunday, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.


Stroud was the front-runner for the job after being drafted second overall in April. Houston’s quarterback depth chart also features Davis Mills and Case Keenum, who signed a two-year deal with the team in the offseason.

Stroud joined the Texans surrounded by high expectations after posting a standout career at Ohio State. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist completed 69.3% of his passes for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns against 12 interceptions across two seasons with the Buckeyes.

The 21-year-old was the second quarterback off the board this year after Bryce Young, who the Carolina Panthers selected. Three quarterbacks were taken in the top four, with the Indianapolis Colts drafting Anthony Richardson at No. 4 overall. Young and Richardson have also been named Week 1 starters.

Stroud highlights a 2023 Houston draft class that also includes third overall pick Will Anderson. The rookie signal-caller appeared in all three preseason games this year. He tossed his first touchdown to Nico Collins versus the Saints on Sunday.

The Texans have won just 11 games combined in the last three seasons. They’re coming off a 3-13-1 campaign. Mills, a third-round pick in 2021, was Houston’s starter for most of 2022. He finished the year with 17 touchdown passes to 15 interceptions in 15 starts.

The Texans kick off their regular season on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 10.

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