Ohio State Mock Draft: Which Buckeyes Prospects Might Be Selected in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Here are the Ohio State draft prospects you should keep your eyes on in the 2023 NFL Draft, including C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and others.

All eyes are on C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Paris Johnson Jr. as the trio of former Ohio State Buckeyes headlining their position groups and discussion points in seemingly every 2023 NFL Mock Draft. But outside of Stroud and Johnson, which other Ohio State and college football stars might hear their names called in the 2023 NFL Draft?

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Ohio State Draft Prospects: Which Buckeyes Should Be Selected in the 2023 NFL Draft?

As you’d expect, the list is numerous for Ohio State. The Buckeyes have arguably the top signal-caller, the clear-cut leader to be the first offensive tackle drafted, perhaps the best receiver and best right tackle, and a handful of players that should fill out the later rounds in the draft.

The list of Buckeyes that should hear their names called during the 2023 NFL Draft starts with their former quarterback.

C.J. Stroud, Quarterback (2020-2022)

Stroud headlines the list of Buckeyes prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft as he’s vying for the right to be the first quarterback taken and the first overall player selected by the Carolina Panthers. He started the last two seasons for Ohio State, finishing as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in each outing.

Stroud was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player and Quarterback of the Year for the Buckeyes, and his name is etched into the Ohio State history books in a fair share of places. Under Stroud’s command, OSU’s offense ranked ninth nationally in total offense and second in scoring a season ago.

Likely Drafted Position: First round, first overall

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver (2020-2022)

Smith-Njigba was limited to just two games a season ago after suffering a hamstring injury in the opener against Notre Dame. Still, his place in the Rose Bowl record books may stand for a long time, while his Ohio State school record-breaking 2021 campaign is more than enough to make him the first receiver drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Smith-Njigba broke the OSU record for receptions (95) and receiving yards (1,606) in 2021, dominating in seemingly every single game alongside a ridiculous receiving corps that included two first-round receivers themselves (Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave). Smith-Njigba also set the Big Ten record for receiving yards in a single season, and his 97 receptions rank fifth-most in the conference’s history.

Likely Drafted Position: First round, top 16 picks

Paris Johnson Jr., Offensive Tackle (2020-2022)

Making the switch from guard to left tackle in 2022 proved to be fruitful for Johnson and the Buckeyes. Johnson was terrific at guard but even better at tackle, as his professional ceiling is far greater on the outside.

He was named to a bevy of postseason award lists and helped lead OSU to the second-highest-scoring offense in the country. Johnson’s at his best on the move and should be the first tackle taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Likely Drafted Position: First round, top 16 picks

Dawand Jones, Offensive Tackle (2019-2022)

A mountain of a man, Jones proved in 2022 that he was more than just a massive presence on the outside. Now, vying for the right to be the first right tackle selected, Jones utilized a dominant 2022 season and even better 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl performance to his advantage.

Jones can sneak into the first round if a right-tackle-needy team likes what they see.

Likely drafted position: First two rounds, pick Nos. 30-45

Luke Wypler, Center (2020-2022)

A young prospect by NFL standards, Wypler has tremendous upside at the center position. As noted in last year’s draft, centers were drafted much higher than most anticipated, even in the loftiest mock drafts.

Wypler has great size, athleticism, and balance — all things coveted by teams that need a center who can play right away.

Likely Drafted Position: Round 3, pick Nos. 60-100

Taron Vincent, Defensive Tackle (2018-2022)

Son of NFL great Troy Vincent, Taron will likely have to wait a while to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft. Still, it’s all the more likely that Vincent makes an impact on his future NFL team in more ways than one.

A great interior disrupter and an even better man off the field, Vincent has a ways to go to make an NFL roster for the long haul, but he has the pedigree to do so.

Likely drafted position: Late rounds, priority free agent

Zach Harrison, EDGE (2019-2022)

At times, Harrison took over games for Ohio State. The Buckeyes edge defender made mincemeat of tackles when he was on top of his game. NFL scouts have noted a potential inconsistency in his game, however, and placed a lower ceiling on him than he showed at Ohio State.

Likely Drafted Position: Day 3, Rounds 4-5

Cam Brown, Cornerback (2018-2022)

Perhaps one of the more underrated athletes on Ohio State’s defense the past few seasons, Cam Brown has great ball skills at cornerback. He may be limited in coverage but could carve out a role as a nickel defensive back at the next level.

Likely Drafted Position: Day 3, Rounds 5-6

Ronnie Hickman, Safety (2019-2022)

Ronnie Hickman became the first Buckeye defender to reach 100 tackles since Raekwon McMillan did it seven years ago. He’s a tackling machine with a great influence against the run and some above-average coverage prowess. Hickman’s likely dependent upon scheme fit at the next level to see meaningful snaps right away but is certainly a candidate to develop into a starting defensive back at the NFL level.

Likely Drafted Position: Day 3, Rounds 4-5

Noah Ruggles, Kicker (2021-2022; 2017-2020, North Carolina)

Likely the first kicker taken, Noah Ruggles was destined for the NFL when he first stepped foot on campus at North Carolina in 2017. After coming close to breaking UNC records for field goals and extra points, Ruggles transferred to Ohio State and set a Buckeye record for most points scored by a kicker at 134.

Likely Drafted Position: Day 3, Rounds 4-7

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