By Mansfield Owsley | February 11, 2024
CJ Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. have become just the fourth pair of teammates to take home both of the rookie of the year awards.
Many skeptics were critical of the Texans’ decision to move up in last year's draft to get Will Anderson, but his play has disapproved those voices.
Houston went through a major cultural shift, and it started with the front office's choice to give up their own first rounder instead of the Browns’ for this year’s draft. This decision, much like the decision to move up, would pay off, as the Texans pick is four picks lower, due to their wild card “upset” over Cleveland.
CJ Stroud and Will Anderson are a major part of the changes being felt throughout Houston, and they have excelled on the field, leading them both to Pro-Bowl debuts.
Stroud was outstanding, and at one point he was firmly in the MVP conversation as a rookie. He was top 15 in yards, touchdowns, and QBR despite missing multiple games. More impressive was his decision making, he only threw 5 interceptions which was an NFL best per attempt. CJ Stroud also set multiple records breaking the most passes without an interception to start a career, single game passing yards for a rookie, rookie passing touchdowns in a playoff game, and the most games with at least 350 passing yards by a rookie.
Not only does he hold these four NFL records, but he also set franchise records for rookie passing yards and passing touchdowns by a rookie.
On the other side of the ball, Will Anderson was also doing his thing. He recorded 7 sacks and 64 pressures. This gave him a whopping 17.3% pressure rate, which was the best amongst rookies. According to Next Gen Stats, Anderson also had a 0.76 get off rate, which ranked 6th amongst all edge rushers.
These two players will be staples of the Houston Texans for years to come, and their development will be one of the deciding factors for how the future of this franchise unfolds.