Joel Klatt sees path for CJ Stroud, Jaxon-Smith Njigba to reunite via 2023 NFL Draft
Joel Klatt has joined the host of analysts offering up projections for the 2023 NFL Draft. In fact, Klatt has a particularly interesting projection for a pair of Ohio State stars in his mock draft.
To open his mock draft, Klatt has Bryce Young and CJ Stroud coming off the board No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively. That would put Young with the Carolina Panthers and Stroud with the Houston Texans to begin the draft.
If Stroud wins up with the Texans, it is particularly noteworthy because the franchise also holds the No. 12 overall pick. That is where Klatt has Houston opting for a familiar target for its rookie QB.
“You know they would like CJ Stroud if this ends up happening and that they would have vetted him thoroughly, every single start that he made over two years,” said Klatt.
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“Why does that matter? Well, in his first year, who was the most dynamic player on the field alongside two guys that just shredded the NFL in their rookie seasons? Oh, Jaxon Smith-Njigba. So, you could give my best WR on the board to his college QB who’s going to be our rookie QB? Sign me up!”
Klatt went on to explain why he would also like the pick since he believes Smith-Njigba is the most complete WR in the draft and not just a former teammate of Stroud:
Jaxon Smith-Njigba and C.J. Stroud reunited in the NFL??@JoelKlatt thinks that’s a possibility 👀🌰 pic.twitter.com/UYcyPGFztw
— The Joel Klatt Show: A CFB Pod (@JoelKlattShow) April 11, 2023
Outlook for the draft
Whether or not Houston would use its first two picks on Buckeyes is unclear, but Klatt’s idea is not that far-fetched. After all, Houston is nearly a lock to select the best QB available with the second overall pick.
If Young does indeed go No. 1 overall to the Panthers, Stroud would be the better favorite to be selected by the Texans ahead of other QBs in Anthony Richardson and Will Levis. The Texans would also be likely to want to add some offensive pieces to help support their rookie QB with the No. 12 pick.
It will be an interesting story to watch when the draft kicks off in a few weeks.