Real Pod Wednesdays: A Look at Ohio State’s 2023 Draft Class and How This Year’s NFL Decisions Impact Buckeyes

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on January 18, 2023 at 11:10 am
C.J. Stroud

We now know which Ohio State players will be entering the 2023 NFL draft and which draft-eligible Buckeyes will be wearing scarlet and gray for another year.

C.J. Stroud left us in suspense until Monday morning as to which camp he would be a part of, but he ultimately made the decision we expected all along when he opted to go pro. He now headlines a 2023 NFL draft class for Ohio State that includes three sure-fire first-round picks (Stroud, Paris Johnson Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba), three more projected early-round choices (Zach Harrison, Dawand Jones and Luke Wypler) and several others who also have a good chance of hearing their names called.

That said, there were also numerous key Buckeyes who announced over the past week that they will remain at Ohio State for another year including offensive lineman Matt Jones, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and safety Lathan Ransom, joining a group of returning draft-eligible Buckeyes that also includes Miyan Williams, Cade Stover and Steele Chambers, among others.

We start this week’s episode by talking about why Stroud made the only business decision that really made sense by entering the draft and our initial expectations for the Kyle McCord vs. Devin Brown battle that will now ensue to replace him as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. After that, we take a look at Ohio State’s 2023 NFL draft class as a whole and discuss the impact of Jones, Eichenberg and Ransom’s returns. Later in the show, we discuss our expectations for Brian Hartline in his new role as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, how we’ll remember Kevin Warren’s three years as Big Ten commissioner and the outlook for Ohio State men’s basketball after a four-game losing skid.

The full rundown for this week’s episode:

  • 0:36: C.J. Stroud made the right decision by entering the 2023 NFL draft
  • 4:10: There’s no shortage of potential landing spots for Stroud high on the draft board
  • 9:56: 75% of 11W readers expect Kyle McCord to win the starting job, but we expect a close battle
  • 14:12: What Griffin learned from talking to McCord and Devin Brown before the Peach Bowl
  • 15:20: How much of a factor will running ability be in the quarterback competition?
  • 18:36: Tristan Gebbia’s addition is a depth move that provides insurance for a possible future transfer
  • 20:42: A look at the draft stock for each of Ohio State’s 14 declared NFL draft prospects
  • 30:42: Kamryn Babb is stepping away from football, but he’ll always have a moment to remember
  • 33:14: No official word from Tyler Friday, Josh Proctor and Palaie Gaoteote, but it looks unlikely they’ll return
  • 35:45: How many Buckeyes will be drafted this year? Setting the over/under at nine
  • 36:45: Luke Wypler’s decision to leave makes Matt Jones the most important returning draft-eligible Buckeye
  • 41:00: It’s good news Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers are returning, even though Ohio State needs to find a role for C.J. Hicks if he’s ready
  • 43:43: It’s also good that Lathan Ransom is returning even though Sonny Styles and Kye Stokes are promising
  • 46:05: Retention and recruiting two likely factors in Brian Hartline getting the OC nod over Justin Frye
  • 49:44: No other staff changes appear imminent, though Larry Johnson and Parker Fleming are on expiring contracts
  • 51:10: Should Ryan Day delegate playcalling duties to Hartline? There’s arguments for both sides
  • 52:20: Kevin Warren will be most remembered for the COVID year, but his impact on Big Ten will live on through USC and UCLA
  • 55:36: Ohio State men’s basketball has gone from a major Big Ten contender to an NCAA Tournament bubble team in just two weeks
  • 59:28: It’s not time to write this team off yet, but the Buckeyes need to start winning some close games
  • 1:02:09: Ohio State isn’t getting enough production from its transfers and its bench
  • 1:04:26: Women’s basketball now ranked second in the country, but two huge tests loom next week

You can listen to Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above or subscribe to RPW on streaming platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

View 6 Comments