Brady Quinn Shares Concerns He's Heard From NFL Teams About C.J. Stroud, Media Squabble Ensues With Ryan Clark

By Chase Brown on April 20, 2023 at 12:45 pm
C.J. Stroud

With the NFL draft looming, Brady Quinn shared concerns he's heard from NFL teams recently about C.J. Stroud.

On CBS Sports' “Pick Six Podcast,” the former Notre Dame quarterback and Fox Sports college football analyst said he still believes Stroud will be the second quarterback off the board in 2023 behind Alabama's Bryce Young, but NFL teams have shared some potential red flags about the Ohio State signal-caller.

Quinn referenced a story shared with him about Stroud and the Manning Passing Academy, a youth football camp created by Archie Manning and his sons Eli, Peyton and Cooper. According to Quinn's sources, Stroud was supposed to be an instructor for the camp last year, but he did not appear at the event.

“The Manning Passing Academy, I've been told that he committed to it the night before. He kind of ghosted them – didn't show up,” Quinn said. “That's football royalty. When you do that, that's going to set off some alarms for people like, 'Hey man, that's not how you conduct yourself, especially around the Manning family or just in general if you're going to be a franchise quarterback.'”

Later on Wednesday, Ryan Clark, a former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back and current NFL analyst for ESPN, rebuked Quinn's comments, explaining that Stroud never committed to any role with the Manning Passing Academy. Instead, Stroud was in Columbus working out with his teammates as he prepared for what would be his final season at Ohio State.

Clark continued in another tweet: "This is an example of an analyst like (Brady Quinn) telling stories of 0 value to diminish a man's character while validating his own. Instead of dissecting film, or speaking to coaches, an adult man stooped to gossip while analyzing. It's an immature evaluation of football integrity."

Quinn responded to Clark's tweet Thursday, claiming a video created by NFL reporter Dov Kleiman that included Quinn's comments do not provide full context to the conversation he had on the podcast.

"It's hilarious (Kleiman) took a one-minute clip from our (podcast) and created a headline that doesn't touch on the context of the conversation," Quinn tweeted. "I was asked why he could be 'dropping'? I simply provided a few examples of what I was told. ... If one actually listened to the podcast, I didn't put stock in that and have always been very complimentary of C.J. and was in this podcast."

As Kleiman's video omitted, it's true that Quinn later commented on Stroud's accuracy and comfortability in the pocket and said he expects Stroud to "deliver the ball like he has and put up the numbers he has" for whatever team drafts him on April 27. He also took time to defend Stroud's character and maturity as he's seen both qualities develop over his past two seasons at Ohio State.

"He's the most accurate quarterback in this draft class. He showcased his athletic ability," Quinn said. "Any time I've been around the kid, he's been an upstanding young man who's grown and matured into a leader I think NFL teams are looking for."

Still, Clark claims Quinn did Stroud a disservice by sharing the Manning camp story publicly the week before the draft, believing Quinn's recollection of the information – or the accuracy of the information provided by Quinn's source – put Stroud's character into question unnecessarily and potentially without warrant, as Clark has only heard positive reviews of the Ohio State quarterback's personality and leadership.

When Quinn invited Clark to be a guest on his podcast to discuss the matter, Clark declined and said he has no desire to continue the conversation in another medium.

Clark ended the squabble between him and Quinn with a video taken from his podcast "The Pivot" with Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor in which Stroud explains his outlook on football and life, understanding that whether he does good or bad, people will always speak their mind about his performance on and off the field.

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