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C.J. Stroud as No. 1 Pick in NFL Draft? Odds Favor Ohio State Quarterback To Go First

C.J. Stroud

Could C.J. Stroud be the top pick in the NFL Draft?

It’s certainly trending that way.

The 2023 NFL Draft had a major shakeup when the Carolina Panthers recently traded for the No. 1 overall selection with the Chicago Bears. That massive move also made Ohio State’s quarterback the betting favorite to be the top pick in April’s NFL Draft.  

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Here’s where Stroud’s NFL Draft odds sit following Carolina’s trade.

Odds of C.J. Stroud Being Top Pick in NFL Draft

The smooth Ohio State quarterback and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young have been the two front-runners to hear their names called first in the 2023 NFL Draft going back to last offseason. When online sportsbooks first opened up the No. 1 overall draft pick market, Stroud was a slight favorite over Young. 

At the conclusion of the 2022-2023 college football season, however, Young overtook Stroud as the betting favorite to go first overall and held that position up until the Panthers made the aggressive trade with the Bears. 

Prior to the trade, Young and Stroud were listed with odds of around -200 and +300, respectively. Afterward? Those numbers completely flipped, putting the former Buckeye as the clear betting favorite.

The three-day NFL Draft kicks off April 27 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Here are what Stroud’s odds look like as of March 20:

Ohio Online Sportsbook C.J. Stroud First Overall Draft Pick Odds
Caesars -200
FanDuel -220
BetMGM -225
DraftKings -225


Caesars Ohio Sportsbook offers the best price for those wanting to place a wager on Stroud to go first overall, although the odds aren’t all that enticing. At -200, bettors would have to wager $200 to win $100.

For reference, Young currently sits at +180 on Caesars with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson at +350.


What might Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns do in the NFL Draft? Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

NFL Draft Outlook for Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns will be without their first-round draft pick for the next two seasons as part of the expensive trade with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson. That’s a big hit for a team that struggled offensively down the stretch and was inconsistent on defense.

The Browns needed to be aggressive in free agency to address weaknesses across the roster and the front office has delivered thus far. After fielding one of the worst run defenses in the league, the Browns landed Dalvin Tomlinson to beef up the defensive line. Cleveland also brought in defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, most recently with the Houston Texans, and Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Juan Thornhill to improve against the pass.

These moves will give the Browns more flexibility as the franchise prepares for the upcoming draft. Assuming there are no trades involving draft picks over the next month, Cleveland holds eight picks for the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • No. 42 overall (Round 2)
  • No. 98 overall (Round 3)
  • No. 111 overall (Round 4)
  • No. 126 overall (Round 4)
  • No. 140 overall (Round 5)
  • No. 142 overall (Round 5)
  • No. 190 overall (Round 6)
  • No. 229 overall (Round 7)

Despite not having a draft selection until pick No. 42, the Browns will be in a solid spot to address some of their biggest needs: defensive line, edge rusher, corner, and wide receiver. Prospects to watch for at pick 42 are defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu (USC); edge rusher B.J. Ojulari (LSU); edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Kansas); defensive lineman Siaki Ika (Baylor); corner Clark Phillips III (Utah); and WR Josh Downs (UNC).

Because there are several names that line up with the Browns’ team needs, we could see Cleveland trade down a few spots to pick up additional draft capital.

— Article contributed by Cody Kutzer.

Joshua Buckley is a contributor for NEO Sports Insiders. Along with award-winning experience as a sports editor in Alabama and Texas, he has also spent time in public relations for the tourism and blood banking industries. Joshua is co-host of "Whole Lotta Wolves," the only U.S.-based Wolverhampton Wanders FC podcast.

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