As expected, Ohio State junior QB C.J. Stroud has decided to forego his senior season and made himself eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft, announcing on social media Twitter Monday morning.
Proverbs 3:5,6 pic.twitter.com/FdA2ftqQFJ
— CJ Stroud (@CJ7STROUD) January 16, 2023
CJ Stroud’s Ohio State Career
Stroud finished his storied career 2nd at Ohio State in passing yards (8123) and passing TDs (85) and holds the record for most passing yards per game (571 vs. Utah). Stroud was 23-4 over the last two seasons as a starter and 0-1 in FBS playoff starts.
Stroud finished 4th in the 2021 Heisman Trophy race and received the 3rd most votes for the prestigious award. The Buckeyes failed to win a Big Ten title, and he was 0-2 over his two starts against Michigan.
NFL 2023 Draft Projections
Stroud is regarded by many as the 3rd best QB entering the draft and is slightly behind Alabama QB Bryce Young and Kentuck QB Will Slovis. The mock drafts vary, but the former Buckeyes signal-caller could go as high as No. 2 or sink to No. 9.
- CBS: No. 5 Los Vegas Raiders
- USA Today: No. 4 Indianapolis Colts
- Yahoo Sports: No. 2 Houston Texans
- Pro Football Focus: No. 7 Las Vegas Raiders
- Draft Wire: No. 2 Houston Texans
- Draft Network: No. 9 Houston Texans
2023 Ohio State Buckeyes Futures Prediction
Ohio State was a +600 (DraftKings) favorite to win the 2024 College National Championship, and that number was based on the assumption that Shroud would enter the NFL Draft. Now that he has made that official, is OSU a good bet to win it all in 2023-2024?
The Buckeyes have a demanding schedule in 2023:
- Sept. 2: Ohio State vs. Indiana, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana
- Sept. 9: Ohio State vs. Youngstown State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Sept. 16: Ohio State vs. Western Kentucky, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Sept. 23: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
- Oct. 7: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Oct. 14: Ohio State vs. Purdue, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana
- Oct. 21: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Oct. 28: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
- Nov. 4: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey
- Nov. 11: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Nov. 18: Ohio State vs. Minnesota, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Nov. 25: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The preseason rankings are out, and the Buckeyes have a tough schedule with four pre-season top-25 teams on the slate. Away games with Notre Dame and Big Ten Conference road games against Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan won’t be appealing either.
To find the best odds for Ohio State Buckeyes, check out our list of legal Ohio sportsbooks.
Kyle McCord at QB?
While it isn’t official, all fingers point toward sophomore Kyle McCord replacing Shroud. McCord made a few appearances as a freshman this season, throwing for 190 yards and a TD.
He’s expected to duke it out with incoming frosh QB Devin Brown this spring when a final decision will be made by head coach Ryan Day. Marvin Harrison Jr and Treveyon Henderson Highlight the offense.
Junior All-American WR Marvin Harrison and junior RB Treveyon Henderson return in 2023. Harrison caught 77 passes for 1263 yards and 14 TDs without a dropped pass in 2022 and should be considered one of the favorites to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Henderson missed several games with a knee injury, but junior RB Miyam Williams will return, and the two form a solid, one-two punch out of the Buckeye backfield.
McCord should be a happy camper as the Buckeyes return one of the best WR corps in the college game. WRs Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming combined for 1684 receiving yards with 16 TDs. Harrison and McCord were high school teammates, and that chemistry should prove valuable.
The most significant question mark will be the offensive line. Left guard Donovan Jackson is the lone returning starter, as the other four will likely be headed to the NFL. Nothing is set in stone, but Day has plenty of talent, like tackle Josh Fryar and guard Jacob James, to choose from.
The defense has been a sore subject the last couple of seasons, but the Buckeyes return some key players in the hope of improving upon their 19.4 points allowed per game. DE J.T. Tuimoloau, along with linebackers Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers and safety Layham Ranson form a solid corp that may need improvement but will be good enough to keep the Buckeyes in the game.
Can the Buckeyes win the 2023-2024 National Championship?
No, Ohio State Buckeyes won’t likely win the 2023-2024 FBS National Championship.
Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country with a potential Heisman Trophy winner and a decent defensive nucleus, but their difficulties begin in Week 5 on the road against Notre Dame. It doesn’t get easier with a Week 9 home game with Penn State, followed by Purdue on the road and Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The main reason not to make this bet is the offensive line. OSU is a plug-and-play school with numerous options on campus and incoming freshmen who will compete for the job. But that uncertainty prevents them from being a clear-cut option and a solid reason not to make this wager until more information is known.