2023 NFL Draft odds: Ohio State's CJ Stroud, Alabama's Bryce Young, Will Anderson favorites as first overall pick

It's not too early to look ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft.
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With the 2022 NFL Draft in the books, it's never too early to speculate which player might go No. 1 overall next year – the 2023 draft is scheduled for April 27-29 in Kansas City. It's the first time that city will host. We are pretty sure the Chiefs won't be drafting a quarterback or at No. 1 overall, but Ohio State signal-caller CJ Stroud is the early betting favorite as the top pick ahead of Alabama QB Bryce Young and Young's teammate, linebacker Will Anderson.

The 2022 quarterback class was not considered very strong, which is why only Kenny Pickett went in Round 1 on Thursday. The 2023 class for now has two franchise-caliber players in Stroud, who was fourth in the 2021 Heisman voting, and Young, who won college football's top award. Yet the likely top-rated player on most scouts' board will be Anderson, a potential once-in-a-generation defender.

Stroud closed his redshirt freshman season in electric fashion for the Buckeyes by throwing for 573 yards (school record) and six touchdowns (tied school record) against a terrific Utah defense in Ohio State's 48-45 Rose Bowl win. Overall, Stroud completed 317-of-441 passes for 4,435 yards with 44 TDs and just six picks. He finished second nationally in passer efficiency (186.6) and third in TD passes (44) and completion percentage (71.9). Stroud is the +300 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win the 2022 Heisman.

The 2021 season was also Young's first as a starter, and he was second nationally with 47 passing touchdowns and 4,872 passing yards in becoming the first Tide QB to win the Heisman. Young did look somewhat mortal, though, in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Cincinnati and in the title game loss to Georgia. He is +350 to repeat as the Heisman winner.

Frankly, Anderson might have been the nation's top player in 2021 and finished fifth in the Heisman voting, was SEC Defensive Player of the Year and won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, presented annually to the nation's top defensive player. He led the nation in tackles for loss with an absurd 34.5 and had a national-best 17.5 sacks. He totaled 102 tackles with nine quarterback hurries and three pass breakups.

Needless to say, who goes first next April will largely depend on if the team picking No. 1 needs a quarterback or not – if that team doesn't, Anderson likely would be the choice. Jacksonville probably would have taken him first on Thursday if eligible.

Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy with a big season perhaps could pass Anderson in scouts' eyes, while Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the clear No. 1 receiver prospect – receivers just don't go first these days. Then again, they are more valuable than ever.

Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who will be the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft?

  • CJ Stroud +200
  • Will Anderson +250
  • Bryce Young +300
  • Paris Johnson +700
  • Myles Murphy +800
  • Jalen Carter +900
  • Bryan Breese +1000
  • Tyler Van Dyke +1500
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba +1800
  • Eli Ricks +2000
  • Spencer Rattler +2500

So who wins the Kentucky Derby? And which enormous long shot is a must-back? Join SportsLine now to see the top picks for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, all from the expert who nailed last year's winner on Derby Day.  

Matt SeveranceSeverance Pays