Post Draft: Buckeyes Face New Challenges and Opportunities

May 3, 2023

Andy Billman

2023 NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft is now over and Ohio State had six players selected, marking the 10th consecutive year that they have had at least five players taken. Although this is slightly less than some of their recent drafts, there are valid reasons for this.

In the first round, Ohio State had three players selected: C.J. Stroud was chosen No. 2 overall by the Houston Texans, Paris Johnson Jr. went No. 6 overall to the Arizona Cardinals, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba was taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 20 pick.

In Round 2, Ohio State had no players selected, but in Round 3, Zach Harrison was selected No. 12 overall by the Atlanta Falcons. Dawand Jones was the ninth pick of the fourth round and went to the Browns. Luke Wypler was taken by the Browns with the No. 13 pick of the sixth round, making him the second former Ohio State player they selected in this year’s draft.

With these players now moving on to the NFL, Ohio State must work to fill the gaps in its roster. While they began this process in the spring, it will continue into fall camp in August.

3 Items of Note, Post-NFL Draft for the Ohio State Buckeyes

1 – Offense overhaul

The Buckeyes were considered one of the top offenses in 2022.  2023 brings a lot of uncertainty. 

This coming season, Ohio State will have multiple impact players to replace. It all will start at QB with CJ Stroud going to the Texans.  Stroud was wonderful for the Bucks last season.

Along with Stroud, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba who rarely played in 2022, and three offensive linemen: Paris Johnson, Dawand Jones, and Luke Wypler are all gone.  That is quite a bit.  

Everyone will focus on the QB battle, currently between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, but replacing three offensive linemen at the same time, especially Johnson at LT, will not be easy, even with the depth the Buckeyes have on the line. 

2 – Marvin Harrison Jr. Heisman hopeful 

Harrison Jr. will help and then some.  I can see Harrison winning games for the Buckeyes single-handedly.   He is a tremendous talent and will more than likely be a top-ten pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

3 – The Ryan Day Era turns the page

With Urban stepping down in 2019, it will be interesting to see Ryan Day’s 2023 Buckeyes without any of Meyer’s recruits, as they are long gone by now.  Year five for me, will be Day’s most challenging as he has a major overhaul of players on offense, and the pressure of losing to Michigan back-to-back seasons.  

The Buckeyes are going to have to get more from the defense in 2023, and they should.

To me, this is where Day can turn the page, and prove his worth.  In 2023, if OSU beats Michigan, and wins the Big Ten, all is good in Columbus.   

Not beating Michigan, failing to make the championship game, and I believe the heat will really be turned up. Way up. 

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