April 24, 2024

The Houston Texans struck gold in the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud with the second pick and Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. with the third pick. Both players had fantastic rookie seasons, but Stroud’s in particular was historic. During a recent guest appearance on Cam Newton’s podcast, The 4th and 1 Show, the NFL veteran lauded Stroud for having what is likely the best rookie season in history.
“I don’t know nobody that really had a better rookie campaign than you,” Newton went on to say. Indeed, it is difficult to find a stronger rookie season than what Stroud put together. In 15 games, Stroud threw for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns with only five interceptions, leading a 3-13-1 squad to the AFC South title and a playoff victory. Stroud, as humble as usual, intervened, adding that Newton also had a fantastic first season. To be fair, he achieved exactly that, throwing for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for 706 yards and 14 more scores. However, the Panthers finished just 6-10 that season.

 

CJ Stroud: His father was sent to prison for 38 years. Now he is a  record-breaking NFL QB advocating for prison reform | CNN

 

However, Newton swiftly reacted, outlining what made Stroud’s year so exceptional and why it outperformed his own Offensive Rookie of the Year effort in 2011.

“We didn’t make the playoffs, and we didn’t win,” Newton explained. “You won and made it seem seductive; you were all business. It wasn’t so much about your performance as it was about defeating the odds… That market you entered was not designed for you to succeed in the way you did.”

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