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Texans stars CJ Stroud, Will Anderson Jr. earn PFWA Rookie of the Year honors

Nikki Chavanelleby:Nikki Chavanelle01/23/24


Stroud Anderson Texans
Thomas Shea | USA TODAY Sports

The Pro Football Writers of America announced on Tuesday their selections for Rookies of the Year, crowing Houston Texans stars C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. The quarterback earned PFWA’s overall Rookie of the Year award as well as the Offensive Rookie of the Year award while the edge rusher earned Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Last year, the awards went to Jets rookies Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner with the corner earning the overall title. It’s not often that two rookies from the same team are chosen but the Jets and Texans make it back-to-back years for PFWA.

The Houston Texans shocked NFL fans and analysts alike for snagging Will Anderson with the No. 3 overall pick after just having taken Stroud at No. 2 overall. They traded the No. 12 pick, No. 33 pick and a future first-round pick to make it happen but it was the biggest splash of the 2023 NFL Draft.

CJ Stroud finished the regular season with 4,108 passing yards and 23 touchdowns while only throwing five interceptions. He connected on 63.9% of his passes and shattered multiple records throughout his debut campaign. Against the Browns and Ravens in the playoffs, he went 16-for-21 and 19-for-33 while throwing three interceptions, all of which came against Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Anderson set a franchise rookie record with seven sacks this season, beating out Whitney Mercilus (2012) and Brooks Reed (2011), who each logged six. He finished the regular season with 45 total tackles and proved to be a cornerstone of Houston’s future.

Anderson is the fourth Texans player to earn the PFWA’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He joins elite company in CB Dunta Robinson (2004), his head coach, former LB DeMeco Ryans (2006), and LB Brian Cushing (2009).


QB – C.J. Stroud, Houston Texas
RB – Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions; Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
WR – Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings; Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
TE – Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions
C – Joe Tippmann, New York Jets
G – Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams; O’Cyrus Torrence, Buffalo Bills
T – Dawand Jones, Cleveland Browns; Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears

DL – Will Anderson Jr., Houston Texans; Jalen Carter, Philadelphia Eagles; Tuli Tuipulotu, Los Angeles Chargers; Kobie Turner, Los Angeles Rams
LB – Jack Campbell, Detroit Lions; Ivan Pace Jr., Minnesota Vikings; Byron Young, Los Angeles Rams
CB – Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers; Devon Witherspoon, Seattle Seahawks
S – Jordan Battle, Cincinnati Bengals; Ji’Ayir Brown, San Francisco 49ers

Special Teams
PK – Jake Moody, San Francisco 49ers
P – Bryce Baringer, New England Patriots
KR – Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos
PR – Derius Davis, Los Angeles Chargers
ST – Jerrick Reed II, Seattle Seahawks