With three selections in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Ohio State Buckeyes have cemented their status as an elite producer of NFL talent. Furthermore, the Buckeyes made college football history with their sensational success on the first night in Kansas City.
Ohio State Cements Status as Elite NFL Talent Producer in the 2023 NFL Draft
If you’re a high school recruit with your eyes on the ultimate prize of playing in the NFL as a first-round NFL Draft pick, Columbus is the destination for you. Ohio State cemented its status as an elite producer of NFL talent in the 2023 NFL Draft, with their three first-round picks also earning their place in college football history.
The Buckeyes officially became the first program to have 90 first-round NFL Draft picks. Subsequently, no other program has had more first-round draft picks than Ohio State, who continued an extraordinary streak of success on Thursday night.
Much maligned during the 2023 NFL Draft process due to a reportedly low S2 recognition score despite clearly being one of the most talented passers in the class, C.J. Stroud joined Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins as recent first-round quarterback selections. Stroud will join the Houston Texans after his second overall selection, with his relief palpable in the Kansas City green room.
The third-year quarterback had to overcome obstacles throughout his Ohio State career, stumbling through his first couple of games as Fields’ replacement before becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist in consecutive seasons.
When the Arizona Cardinals made Paris Johnson Jr. the sixth overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, he became the 89th first-round pick out of Ohio State. Having made the transition from guard to offensive tackle for the 2022 college football season, Johnson’s combination of size, length, power, and athleticism made him an obvious OT1 candidate.
Johnson was the first Buckeyes offensive tackle selected in the first round since 2016.
Emphasizing Ohio State’s reputation as “WRU”, Jaxon Smith-Njigba put the Buckeyes into the college football record book with his first-round selection by the Seattle Seahawks. Almost 60 years after Paul Warfield became the first Ohio State WR to be selected in the NFL Draft, Smith-Njigba joins an ever-growing cast of first-round pass catchers mentored by renowned WR coach Brian Hartline.
The Ohio State NFL Draft juggernaut shows no sign of stopping either. In the latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft from Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network, there were six Buckeyes selected in the first round. If those predictions were to come true, it would tie the record for the number of first-round picks from one program in a single draft class.
Continuing the theme of “WRU”, those six prospects are led by Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka — a pairing that should be considered as the most dangerous wide receiver duo in the nation for the 2023 college football season.
For many analysts, Harrison would have likely been a slam dunk first wide receiver taken if he’d been eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. However, Buckeyes fans get another year of his breathtaking talent as they retool for an assault on the College Football National Championship.