NFL Betting: Who Will Be the First Overall Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?
The 2022 rookie class hasn't even entered training camp, but some people's eyes are already turned toward next year's new boys. The cycle never seems to stop spinning in the NFL.
With this interest in mind, NFL odds is offering odds on who the potential first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft might be. Let's take a look at some of the leading contenders.
C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +200
It would make sense for a quarterback to be the favorite for the first overall selection. This position has been taken first overall in six of the last eight drafts after all.
It also makes sense that C.J. Stroud from Ohio State is one of the favorites to be the earliest pick. Stroud was fourth in Heisman voting in 2021 on the back of a season where he threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Stroud is currently the top-ranked quarterback heading into 2022 according to Dane Brugler.
A national-championship run (for which the Buckeyes have odds of +300) and similar production in 2022 could be enough for Stroud to be the first Buckeye taken first overall since Orlando Pace in 1997.
Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +200
What if it's not Stroud? Instead, a different quarterback could be taken with the number-one pick.
It could be Alabama Crimson Tide signal caller Bryce Young. Young actually took home the Heismann last season thanks to 4,872 passing yards and 47 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide are favorites to win the national title, and Young is a big reason for this.
Young would be the first Alabama player to be taken with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft since Harry Gilmer in 1948. Before you all start throwing Broadway Joe's name in my direction, I hasten to remind you all that Joe Namath was taken with the top pick in the AFL Draft by the New York Jets -- not the NFL.
Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +300
Another player from Alabama who could hear his name called first might be Will Anderson.
Pound for pound, Anderson might be the best player in college football heading into the new campaign. He certainly showed he meant business last season with 17.5 sacks and 31.0 tackles for loss on his way to a fifth-place finish in Heisman voting.
Anderson has 41.5 tackles for loss and 24.5 sacks in 26 games for the Crimson Tide. If a quarterback doesn't go first overall, it tends to either be a pass rusher or an offensive tackle.
Anderson certainly fits the bill if the worst team in the NFL wants to beef up their pass rush.
Jaxon Smith-Njiba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +2000
Wide receivers don't get taken first overall very often. In fact, in the NFL Draft, only two have been the first players selected. Irving Fryar went No.1 in 1984 to the New England Patriots, and Keyshawn Johnson went to the Jets with the first pick in 1996.
If any wide receiver can end this drought, perhaps it is Jaxon Smith-Njigba of Ohio State. He was simply incredible in 2021, reeling in 95 passes for 1,606 yards with 9 touchdowns.
If he can improve on these numbers and help the Buckeyes to a national title, maybe the team with the number-one selection might look to add a wide receiver rather than the guy tasked with throwing him the ball.
Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +3000
The Georgia Bulldogs saw one of their players taken first overall in 2022. Travon Walker was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could another member of one of college football's most devastating defenses make it two in two years?
If so, then perhaps Jalen Carter is the man for the job. He hasn't put up huge numbers so far in his college career, but he did chip in with 37 total tackles (including 8.5 for loss) and 3.0 sacks during their national championship run in 2021.
With five members of this team drafted in the first round this past April, the opportunity is there for Carter to step up and make the Bulldogs his team.
My Pick: C.J. Stroud
The Houston Texans are currently the favorites to post the worst record in football in 2022, which would see them "earn" the first overall pick.
Assuming this happens, that likely means that Davis Mills has not shown enough to be a franchise quarterback. This will put the Texans in the prime spot to take one, and if my money was going to go on which one they would take, it would be Stroud.
With a talented roster around him, a coaching staff tailoring their offense to suit him, and a track record of success, Stroud is set up to be the poster boy of the 2023 NFL Draft. That should be enough to see his name called first.