C.J. Stroud moves on top of latest College Wires NFL mock draft

The NFL draft is tough to keep. Almost daily, potential conscripts are pacing with all the news, smoke screens, bartering and rumors, and it certainly wasn’t any different as we move into the 2023 draft.

This year, however, Ohio State has one of the players who has a very good chance of becoming the No. 1 overall pick, and recent developments are leading many to believe he may just be the first name we’re hearing in the NFL draft . In fact, he’s now the clear No. 1 favorite after Carolina traded with Chicago ahead of all the shenanigans that will take place in Kansas City.

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Our College Wires draft expert, Patrick Conn, also agrees that Stroud may be the #1 pick and has placed him at the top of the draft board. But that’s not the only OSU player he’s chasing in his latest first-round NFL mock draft. No, there are two others that he believes will receive calls on day one.

Here’s the latest from Conn and where he thinks three Buckeyes will land on day one of the 2023 NFL draft.

CJ Stroud, quarterback

12/31/2022; Atlanta, GA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) falls back to throw the ball in the third quarter during the Peach Bowl semifinal match of the College Football Playoffs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the Georgia Bulldogs. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Predicted NFL draft pick

No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers

What Conn says

“The Carolina Panthers are in great need of quarterbacks and CJ Stroud is ripe for selection with the top pick of the 2023 NFL draft. The team has signed Andy Dalton to a two-year deal, but he’s not the future of the franchise,” Stroud will be.”

Paris Johnson Jr., offensive tackle

Watch: Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr., Dawand Jones and Luke Wypler complete NFL combo practice

March 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Jr. (OL24) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Predicted NFL draft pick

No. 12 overall for the Houston Texans (trade with the Cleveland Browns)

What Conn says

“The Texans recently traded for former Bucs guard Shaq Mason, but there is still work to be done to protect quarterback Bryce Young. The team is adding a little more beef with Ohio State’s Paris Johnson to protect their huge investment.”

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, wide receiver

Todd McShay doesn't think Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a first-round pick

Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba enters Ohio Stadium prior to the Buckeyes’ game against Michigan on November 26, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Predicted NFL draft pick

No. 25 overall to the New York Giants

What Conn says

“The New York Giants recently added Parris Campbell and Jeff Smith as wide receivers, but Smith-Njigba gives them a dynamic weapon for quarterback Daniel Jones.”

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