LAS VEGAS — C.J. Stroud wasn’t the first pick of the NFL Draft. But he might be the No. 1 rookie quarterback of all time.
Stroud had an unbelievable rookie season for the Houston Texans, breaking several records. And on Thursday night he won Offensive Rookie of the Year at NFL Honors, the league’s annual awards gala.
It took a monster season from Stroud to beat out Los Angeles Rams receiver Puka Nacua, who set multiple rookie records himself including the single season record for receiving yards by a rookie. Stroud, the second pick of the draft, was excellent from beginning to end and in the playoffs as well, leading his Texans to a wild-card round win over the Cleveland Browns.
Stroud got 48 of 50 first-place votes and two second-place votes. Nacua got two first-place votes and 48 second-place votes.
Stroud was part of a stellar rookie class for the Texans, which included pass rusher Will Anderson Jr., the No. 3 overall pick of the draft who also had a big impact and won Defensive Rookie of the Year later in the night at NFL Honors.
Here are the other winners from NFL Honors:
Defensive Player of the Year: Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett
Garrett, once the first overall pick of the draft, won his first DPOY award after a stellar season. He had 14 sacks for an excellent Browns defense, leading the team to the playoffs.
There was a lot of competition for the award among elite pass rushers. Maxx Crosby, T.J. Watt and Micah Parsons all had excellent seasons. Garrett won it despite not leading the NFL in sacks — that was Watt, with 19 — which is a testament to the big plays he made all season for the Cleveland defense. Garrett got 23 first-place votes, Watt got 19, Parsons got seven and Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland got one.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Houston Texans DE Will Anderson Jr.
The Texans traded a lot to move up to No. 3 and draft Anderson, right after they drafted Stroud. The Texans got a pair of rookies of the year from those picks.
Carter had a big lead in the DROY race early on, but Anderson started to make his run at the award late in the season. Anderson finished with seven sacks and made many plays for a young, rising Texans team that made the playoffs.
(This story will be updated through NFL Honors as the awards are announced.)