Although much of the pre-draft attention has been placed on where former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba may wind up in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Buckeyes also boasts a trio of offensive linemen that appear to be in good standing to hear their names called later this week.
Offensive tackles Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones, as well as center Luke Wypler, are all expected to find their NFL homes during the draft, which runs from April 27-29. As the draft draws closer, all three players are appearing on mock drafts, with Johnson slotting in as a consensus first-round selection.
Starting with Johnson, the All-American left tackle has hovered around the top 15 selections all offseason, and remains in that vicinity with less than a week until the draft. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler slotted Johnson in at the No. 13 overall selection to the New York Jets, while CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson had Johnson reuniting with Justin Fields in Chicago while being selected by the Bears with the No. 9 pick. Other popular landing spots for Johnson include the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 7, the Tennessee Titans at No. 11 and the New England Patriots at No. 14.
Jones has seen his draft stock surge during the pre-draft process thanks to strong showings at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. To CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli, Jones is a first-round prospect, landing with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 31 selection. Brugler and Wilson each settled on the second round for Jones, with Brugler predicting Jones to land with the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 49 overall pick, while Wilson had Jones falling to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 34.
While both Johnson and Jones have the potential to hear their names called on the first night of the draft, which only includes the opening round, Wypler is expected to hear his name called in either the third or fourth round. Both Brugler and Wilson have Wypler landing with the Chicago Bears, but at very different junctures of the draft, with Wilson predicting that Wypler would be selected with the 64th overall selection — the first pick of the third round — while Brugler had Wypler picked with the No. 133 selection, coming in the fourth round.
Regardless of where they land, all three former Buckeye offensive linemen will find their new NFL homes this weekend. The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC and ESPN and will continue on both networks until Saturday.