Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud declares for 2023 NFL Draft

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Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud declares for 2023 NFL Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

C.J. Stroud is officially going pro.

The Ohio State quarterback announced on Monday that he has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. He took to social media to thank Buckeyes fans and share his decision.

“This process has been difficult, and the decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” he wrote. “As a kid, I dreamed of playing football at the highest level and after much prayer, I’ve made the decision that it’s time to turn those dreams into a reality.

“With that said, I am declaring for 2023 NFL Draft.”

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Stroud, a junior, could have returned to Columbus for another season.

The 21-year-old finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2022 after completing 66.3% of his passes to go along with 41 touchdowns and six interceptions. He took the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff and went toe-to-toe with the eventual national champion, Georgia, in the Peach Bowl. Stroud was superb in the game, amassing 348 passing yards and four touchdowns against the nation’s top defense.

Stroud joins Alabama’s Bryce Young and Kentucky’s Will Levis as top quarterbacks in the 2023 draft class. Young, the 2021 Heisman winner, declared for the draft on Jan. 2, while Levis announced his decision in December.

The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 pick in the draft, but it remains to be seen if they will keep that pick, let alone take a quarterback. The Houston Texans (No. 2), Indianapolis Colts (No. 4) and Seattle Seahawks (No. 5) are among the teams at the top of the draft that could select a quarterback, with the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7), Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) and Carolina Panthers (No. 9) in the mix, as well.

Stroud likely will not need to wait long to hear his new home announced when the 2023 NFL Draft begins on April 27.