2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
C.J. Stroud is just a monster right now, especially in the box score. During Ohio State’s eye-popping 77-21 victory over the Toledo Rockets in week three, Stroud was spectacular. The redshirt sophomore passed for 367 yards, while keeping his game clean with a 5:0 touchdown to interception ratio, bringing his total ratio to 11:0 on the young season. This made for a perfect 158.3 passer rating for Stroud, another feather in his cap for his case to be the top pick. The timing on this throw specifically, into such a small window, is ridiculous.
I’ve dogpiled onto the “they don’t play anybody” argument against the Buckeyes in the past, and for good reason: they don’t play anybody, and the Big Ten is largely awful. But for a performance like this, one that is legitimately statistically perfect in every single way, I can’t argue against it. Perfection is hard at any level of football, no matter who you’re playing. We as fans only see 158.3 passer ratings maybe once or twice a season, if that. It feels like they never happen, so when they do, you have to commend the quarterback.
3. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
I was stunned to find that Bryce Young threw two interceptions against UL-Monroe for two reasons. First, you would never know it just looking by the final score. Again, Alabama absolutely dominated an inferior opponent this week, barely giving the Warhawks of Monroe any room to breathe, and brutalizing their way to a 63-7 finish. Secondly, this is Bryce Young we’re talking about here. Young’s chief trait, that which makes him special as a quarterback, is his accuracy. He can put the ball where no one else can get it, with frightening consistency.
I’ll have to be honest here, I haven’t sat down and watched the game yet. I’ve been meaning to do so, but I just bought a new car, and it’s all been a whole big mess. Maybe those two interceptions weren’t Young’s fault, and that’s fine! But just looking between the two of them, which scouts and GMs tend to do, I think Young gave up a bit of ground against Stroud this week, along with the already prevalent concerns that NFL front office people will have about his size. Just like the car situation, it’s a whole big mess.