Ohio State football 2023 NFL draft declaration tracker

Now that the Ohio State football season is over it’s time to turn our attention to next year. The Buckeyes have a great deal of talent coming back, but, as usual, several players have NFL draft decisions to make.

Players expected to go in the first couple of rounds of the 2023 NFL draft are more than likely gone, but those that are mid- to late-round projections have to take a hard look in the mirror and decide what they want to do about their future.

So that you can follow along, we’ve made it easy by creating an Ohio State football 2023 NFL draft declaration tracker to stay up with those that are making decisions. There are a few players to keep an eye on and it gets a little tricky when still dealing with the COVID-19 extra year some guys might want to take. Either way, we’ll update the tracker as soon as we get word on any decisions that come along. The deadline for players to declare for the draft is Jan. 16, so expect the news to come fast and furious.

C.J. Stroud, Quarterback

Dec. 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (not pictured) during the second quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Redshirt Sophomore

Where Things Stand

As a likely top-five pick, it would be a major shocker to see Stroud come back. You can expect a decision here soon that he’s declaring.

Status

Entering the 2023 NFL draft

Paris Johnson Jr., Offensive Tackle

Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. pens heartfelt letter
Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. pens heartfelt letter

Nov. 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) headshot during the second half at Ryan Field. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Junior

Where Things Stand

Like Stroud, many mock NFL drafts have Johnson as a first-round prospect. He, too, is most likely off to the professional ranks, but we’ve been surprised before.

Status

Entering the 2023 NFL draft

Tommy Eichenberg, Linebacker

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35) celebrates the tackle during the third quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Redshirt Junior

Where Things Stand

Because of the COVID-19 year, Eichenberg could come back for one more season. However, he improved his draft stock significantly this year in Jim Knowles’ defense. Eichenberg led Ohio State in tackles, and the Buckeyes could sure benefit from his return. One more season might do him well to become an even higher prospect. We shall see.

Status

Returning to Ohio State

Cade Stover, Tight End

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover (8) and wide receiver Kamryn Babb (0) before the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Redshirt Junior

Where Things Stand

After moving permanently from the defensive side of the ball, Stover became quite the weapon in the passing game at tight end. There’s no doubt he has jumped up draft boards in NFL circles, but another year learning the position could benefit him. Plus, going out of the playoff semifinal with an injury might leave a bad taste in his mouth. He still has two years of eligibility left, and it’ll be interesting to see what he decides.

Status

Returning to Ohio State

Luke Wypler, Center

Ohio State moves up in latest USA TODAY Coaches Poll | Buckeyes Wire
Ohio State moves up in latest USA TODAY Coaches Poll | Buckeyes Wire

Nov. 26, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) and offensive lineman Luke Wypler (53) walks off the field after the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Junior

Where Things Stand

Wypler just finished his third year and has developed into arguably one of the best centers in the country. However, not many draft projections have him as a top 10 prospect at the position. That was before a pretty good performance against Georgia, so we’ll see if he rises. It’s a position of need in the NFL and we could see Wypler going either way.

Status

Entering the 2023 NFL draft

Miyan Williams, Running Back

Dec. 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Miyan Williams (3) celebrates a rushing touchdown against Georgia Bulldogs during the second quarter of the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Eligibility

Junior

Where Things Stand

Ohio State received some good news from Williams after a season he spent in purgatory because of nagging injuries. He was underrated coming out of high school but became every bit effective as the five-star talent TreVeyon Henderson. His bruising running style is just what the doctor ordered against some of the more physical teams OSU plays.

Status

Returning to Ohio State

Lathan Ransom, Safety

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom (12) celebrates a blocked punt during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Eligibility

Junior

Where Things Stand

Ransom finished a junior year in which he became one of the most important OSU defenders. Though he was fearless and physical tackler, he showed some flaws in coverage technique that another year could help him polish up. It would be a surprise to see him declare, but he is eligible to do so if he desires. We’ve seen others in his position make the decision to jump to the NFL.

Status

Entering the 2023 NFL draft

Matthew Jones, Offensive Guard

Dec. 5, 2020; East Lansing, Michigan; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Matthew Jones (55) before the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Senior

Where Things Stand

Though Jones is a senior, he has one more year of eligibility should he decide to use the extra COVID-19 year. Despite the raw emotion reaction of contemplating a return after the Peach Bowl loss, we have to note he did participate in senior day activities. So, unless he has a change of heart after letting things settle down, he’s likely off to the NFL.

Status

Returning to Ohio State

Dawand Jones, Offensive Tackle

Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones announces NFL draft decision
Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones announces NFL draft decision

Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Dawand Jones (79) celebrates his team’s victory against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Senior

Where Things Stand

Likewise, Dawand Jones is a senior but could still decide to use the extra COVID-19 year. However, he already accepted an invite to play in the Senior Bowl, so it would be a major shock if he decided to come back for another ride in Columbus.

Status

Entering the 2023 NFL draft

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Xavier Johnson, Swiss Army Knife

Dec. 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Xavier Johnson (10) celebrates his touchdown catch against Georgia Bulldogs during the second quarter of the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Eligibility

Senior

Where Things Stand

Just when you think you have things figured out, a story like Johnson’s emerges. We didn’t even have him on the radar, but Johnson too has an extra year thanks to COVID-19 and will be coming back to the banks of the Olentangy for a sixth season. And yeah, with his versatility, the news is very underrated.

Status

Returning to Ohio State

[listicle id=103597]

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes, and opinion. Follow Phil Harrison on Twitter.

Let us know your thoughts, and comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire