C.J. Stroud proves why Patriots must draft a quarterback in the top five

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) runs into the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) runs into the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The New England Patriots are one of the favorites to land a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. If the NFL Draft were today, the Patriots would select third overall. There has been much discussion about what the Patriots should do with the pick, but recent developments from Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud suggest otherwise.

The hot start that Stroud and the Texans are off to makes it clear what the Patriots should do. The Patriots have to draft a quarterback with a top-five pick, and there is no excuse not to.

Stroud is currently having one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history, and he’s just nine games into his career. The Texans rookie has 15 touchdowns this season and only two interceptions. His recent play has been phenomenal as he has two game-winning drives in the last two weeks, including one against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

I use this example because the Texans were a dumpster fire over the last few seasons. Stroud's turnaround is remarkable because the Texans only won three games a year ago. The Texans have been able to shift the trajectory of their franchise because they found a generational quarterback.

The Patriots will have an opportunity to do the same as the Texans if they draft a true generational quarterback. They cannot afford to select the fourth or fifth-best guy in the class, as seen with Mac Jones. Instead, the Patriots need to take either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, who are the most surefire generational type prospects.

Even though the Patriots have countless problems on their roster, getting the right quarterback who is an elite talent will go a long way in speeding up the rebuild. The Patriots ultimately can’t afford to screw up this pick this year, or it could lead to decades of poor play.