Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio denied that quarterback prospect C.J. Stroud's agent David Mulugheta's ties to Deshaun Watson are "not a factor at all" in whether the team will select Stroud in the first-round of the 2023 NFL Draft Thursday (April 27) night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"Texans’ GM Nick Caserio said whether or not Houston drafts C.J. Stroud has nothing to do with the fact that the Ohio State QB is represented by David Mulugheta, the agent who represents Deshaun Watson. 'Not a factor at all,' he said," Schefter tweeted hours before the draft,
Watson spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Texans before being traded to the Cleveland Browns last offseason amid controversy. The former Clemson standout expressed his interest in being traded prior to being named in lawsuits in which 30 women accused him of being sexually inappropriate during massage therapy sessions in the Houston area during his tenure with the franchise.
Two separate Texas grand juries decided not to indict the quarterback on criminal charges in 2022 and Watson later settling with 24 women and the Texans settling with 30.
Stroud is projected to be the second quarterback taken in Thursday's draft with multiple reports claiming the Panthers have decided to take former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young at No. 1 overall. The Texans have a need at quarterback and Stroud has long been predicted to be the alternate top choice opposite Young, but Houston has recently been reported to have interest in top pass rusher prospects Will Anderson Jr. and Tyree Wilson under recently hired defensive-minded head coach DeMeco Ryans.
Stroud threw for 8,123 yards, 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during his collegiate career at Ohio State, which included being a Heisman Trophy finalist during each of his final two seasons.
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