Midseason AFC South QB Ranking No. 2: C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
Just like Will Levis, C.J. Stroud is a rookie but he's got a bigger sample to dissect. Moreover, the Houston Texans wasted no time making him the starter. While they could've gone with third-year pro Davis Mills and have Stroud redshirt, the Texans decided that the best course of action was thrusting him into the field and letting him learn on the job.
The decision has paid off and the former Ohio State product is an early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He might have to finish strong in order to fend off wide receiver Puka Nacua, who's taking the league by storm, but he should have a favorable chance.
Even though Houston lost their first two games of the season, Stroud fared well. In fact, it wasn't until Week 6 that he threw his best interception of the year. Even though he's a rookie, he's made everyone around him better, which is what you want from your starting quarterback. Heading into Week 9, the Rancho Cucamonga native has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,800 yards with nine touchdowns and just one pick. That statline rivals that of several veteran quarterbacks.
That said, there's plenty of time left in the season and Stroud could hit the proverbial rookie wall. As good as he's been, opponents will start to figure out how to stop him. Conversely, Stroud could get better as the year progresses and solidify his spot as the second-best quarterback in the AFC South.