Three Ohio State Players In Discussion For No. 1 Overall Pick In 2023 NFL Draft

Since the 2022 NFL Draft is in the books, it’s time to check out the odds for the 2023 NFL Draft offered by sports betting apps throughout the Midwest. To be more specific, let’s take a look at the odds for who will go No.1. With the incredibly talented roster Ohio State has, it should come as no surprise that three Buckeyes are among the top contenders.

Those three players are QB C.J. Stroud, OT Paris Johnson, and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

NFL Draft Odds 2023: Odds To Go No. 1

The following table is a short list of the players DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and PointsBet have odds for:

Odds To Be No. 1 Pick In The 2023 NFL DraftDraftKingsCaesarsFanDuelPointsBet
CJ Stroud, Ohio State QB+200+225+200+210
Bryce Young, Alabama QB+225+225+200+200
Will Anderson, Alabama LB+330+350+300+300
Paris Johnson, Ohio State OT+1000+1000+1500+1100
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State WR+1500+1500+2000+2200
Phil Jurkovec, Boston College QB+1500+1500+4000+2500
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami QB+1800+1800+2000+1400
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina QB+2000+2000+10000+1800
Bryan Bresee, Clemson DT+2500+2500+3000+2500
Peter Skoronski, Northwestern OL+2500+2500+2500+2500

Ohio State, which is a heavy favorite to win the Big Ten title in 2022, has an impressive history when it comes to the first round of the draft. With two players going in the top 11 this year, there have been 87 Buckeyes taken in the first round, more than any other NCAA program. Yes, more than even Alabama, which has had 70.

However, the Buckeyes have only had three players go No. 1 Tom Cousineau (1979), Dan Wilkinson (1994), and Orlando Pace (1997). Cousineau is one of four linebackers to go No. 1 overall, Wilkinson is one of 16 defensive linemen, and Pace one of six offensive linemen.

Quarterbacks lead the way, of course, with 35 taken with the first pick of the draft, including four of the last five and 16 since 2001. This year, the Buckeyes happen to have one of the best quarterbacks in college football behind center in Stroud. He also happens to be the favorite at DraftKings to be the first quarterback off the board (+200).

All Three Ohio State Players Are Strong Candidates

Stroud has become the betting favorite to win the Heisman (+250 at DraftKings). He will be at the forefront of Heisman discussions if he has an even better year than his stellar 2021 campaign. Even if he does not improve, as long as he does not slide back or get hurt, he’ll be hard for a quarterback-needy team to resist in next year’s NFL Draft.

Of course, a team in need of a quarterback could just as easily favor Alabama’s Bryce Young, who won the Heisman Trophy last season. With how important having a talented quarterback is in today’s NFL if the team with the No. 1 pick does not need a QB, teams that do need one will likely be willing to wheel and deal to move up.

While teams need a franchise quarterback, it is also vital that they protect that quarterback. That is where Johnson enters the conversation. Should he play as well at left tackle this season as he played at guard last year, that versatility will make him hard to resist. But could it be enough to make him the No. 1 pick? Eh…

While early mock drafts do have him going in the first round, most have him going in the latter half of the round.

Smith-Njigba was one of the talented trio of receivers Stroud had to work with last year. He led the Buckeyes in receptions (95) and yards (1,606), but he was third in touchdowns with nine. Chris Olave, the No. 11 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, had 13, and Garrett Wilson, the No. 10 pick, had 12.

Like Stroud and Johnson, his talent is unmistakable. Another solid year will certainly put him in the conversation to be the first wide receiver off the board, but teams have been valuing quarterbacks and pass rushers above wide receivers with the No. 1 pick. He’s more likely going to be a top-10 pick rather than go No. 1.

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.