Real Pod Wednesdays: Previewing Ohio State’s 2023 NFL Draft

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on April 26, 2023 at 11:05 am
C.J. Stroud

NFL draft week has arrived.

We’re just one day away from finding out which teams will draft C.J. Stroud, Paris Johnson Jr., Jaxon Smith-Njigba and perhaps Dawand Jones. Over the next three days, 259 players will be drafted, and at least seven Buckeyes are likely to be among those who get that call, while numerous others are also likely to sign with teams shortly after the draft as undrafted free agents.

This week’s show is all about the Buckeyes in the draft as we talk about why teams shouldn’t be worried about Stroud’s ability to read defenses and process information, predict where Stroud and the rest of the Buckeyes will end up and discuss some of the draft-related milestones Ohio State could achieve this weekend.

At the end of the show, we also spend a few minutes talking about a quiet start of the post-spring transfer window for Ohio State – both in terms of incoming and outgoing activity – and three players who have emerged as transfer targets for the Buckeyes. (This episode was recorded before Caleb Burton entered the transfer portal.)

The full rundown for this week’s episode:

  • 0:42: Ohio State will have at least three first-round NFL draft picks, maybe four with Dawand Jones
  • 4:58: It’s looking like C.J. Stroud won’t go second, but someone (Titans?) will likely trade up to take him third
  • 7:56: Despite the narratives, Stroud was great at reading defenses and plenty coachable at Ohio State
  • 15:35: In one scenario, Paris Johnson Jr. could be the first Buckeye drafted – but he’ll likely be the second
  • 17:54: Jaxon Smith-Njigba is WR1 and could go anywhere between 10th and 15th (if not higher)
  • 22:46: Luke Wypler looks like a solid third-round pick with the potential to go late in Round 2
  • 23:54: Zach Harrison’s upside could get him into Round 2, but questions about fit could push him into Round 3
  • 27:45: Ronnie Hickman’s draft projections have run the gamut, but Round 6 feels like his landing spot
  • 30:44: Tanner McCalister is Dan’s pick to be Ohio State’s eighth and final draft pick in 2023
  • 31:51: Cameron Brown’s injury history, disappointing 40 time could keep him from being drafted
  • 33:16: Taron Vincent never quite did enough at Ohio State to become a sure-fire draft pick
  • 36:20: Mitch Rossi is a real sleeper to make an NFL roster even though he’ll probably go undrafted
  • 41:08: The most ideal team fits for Ohio State draft prospects
  • 42:55: C.J. Stroud could be Ohio State’s highest-drafted quarterback ever, or at least tie that mark
  • 44:12: Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be OSU’s third Round 1 WR in two years (with more to come next year)
  • 45:20: Three offensive line draft picks for the first time since 2004 should help Ohio State’s recruiting
  • 46:04: Ohio State will have at least six picks for the eighth straight year – and could have six top-100 picks
  • 49:15: It’s more surprising Ohio State has lost almost no transfers than Ohio State adding no transfers yet
  • 50:36: Lorenzo Styles seems likely to be a Buckeye, especially since he’s planning to play cornerback
  • 54:30: Tywone Malone would be a depth piece at defensive tackle, at least for this season
  • 56:20: Ohio State hosting San Diego State’s Josh Simmons in pursuit for a transfer offensive tackle

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