The first round of the 2023 NFL draft takes place on Thursday night in Kansas City. Naturally, speculation has run rampant on how it will all shake out, especially in regard to the highly-rated QBs that are set to turn pro.
As the draft gets underway, Bryce Young was the the first overall selection of the Carolina Panthers. Behind him on the NFL draft odds board are three other talented quarterbacks who appear likely to hear their names called early, including CJ Stroud.
2023 NFL draft overall pick odds for CJ Stroud
In the months prior to the draft, CJ Stroud spent some time as the betting favorite before slipping back down to the second slot. According to the latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, Stroud is now tied with Will Levis in second place for odds to go first in the draft as of Thursday afternoon, with Bryce Young holding strong as the betting favorite to be the top selection.
Stroud is a 6’ 3”, 218-pound junior out of Ohio State. He has spent the last two years leading the way for the Buckeyes’ offense and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for both campaigns. In 2021, the team went 9-2 in the regular season and picked up a thrilling win over Utah at the Rose Bowl. Stroud threw for 44 TDs versus 6 INTs on the year.
Last season, the club made it to the College Football Playoff following an 11-1 campaign. The season came to a close with a one-point loss to Georgia in the semifinal. At the NFL combine in February, Stroud did not participate in measuring drills, but he did impress observers during passing drills.
The Carolina Panthers own the first overall pick in the draft following a trade with the Chicago Bears. Observers expect Carolina to go for a QB, and Young has been the consensus choice to go first overall for some time now. Barring any draft night surprises, the Stroud watch will begin once the Texans go on the clock for the draft’s second pick.
Pick odds for CJ Stroud at the 2023 NFL draft
While Young is the favorite to be the first overall pick, there are several other betting options open where Young has interesting odds. Here are his latest odds from DraftKings for specific draft slots, both overall and quarterback.
- Sixth pick in the draft: +1000
- Seventh pick in the draft: +400
- Eighth pick in the draft: +550
- Second quarterback selected: -300
- Third quarterback selected: +330
The NFL betting odds steadily dip for Stroud at the second slot, and then spike back up from there. Using that as a guide, it suggests that Stroud could be off the board among the top three picks.
Other ways to bet on CJ Stroud
Beyond trying to forecast exactly where Stroud will land, there are NFL draft betting specials at DraftKings, several of which will tie into the fortunes of the young QB.
- Total quarterbacks drafted in the first round: Over 4.5, +115; under 4.5, -145
- Total Big 10 players drafted in the first round: Over 8.5, -190; under 8.5, +150
- First two QBs drafted – Young, Stroud: -250
2023 NFL draft order
With Stroud’s odds to go at a specific pick spiking substantially after the eighth overall pick, sportsbooks are suggesting they think he’ll hear his name called pretty early on Thursday night. Here’s the current order for the top eight picks.
- Carolina Panthers
- Houston Texans
- Arizona Cardinals
- Indianapolis Colts
- Seattle Seahawks
- Detroit Lions
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Atlanta Falcons
From the above teams, the Panthers and Colts are clearly in the market for new QBs. The Texans have many holes to fill and could choose to go in a different direction as a result, while the Cardinals have Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in 2019, in the fold.
The Seahawks inked Geno Smith to an extension over the offseason, while the Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency. The Lions and Falcons could stand pat with Jared Goff and Desmond Ridder respectively, but unexpected draft night developments could change their thinking.
There’s also the possibility of draft night trades that shake up the order. For the remaining top 20 selections, teams that could potentially be interested in a QB of the future include the Tennessee Titans at 11th, Green Bay Packers at 13th, New England Patriots at 14th, Washington Commanders at 16th and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 19th.
Teams to keep an eye on for potential trades and intrigue on day one are the four teams that have multiple first-round selections: Texans, Seahawks, Lions and Eagles. Of that group, Philadelphia is not QB shopping, as the team has just inked Jalen Hurts to a massive extension.
Betting favorites to go first overall at the 2023 NFL draft
Young is the overwhelming favorite to go first overall, but draft night surprises can happen. If we look back to the 2018 NFL draft, Baker Mayfield was the top pick of the Cleveland Browns, a selection that didn’t clearly come into focus until the day of the draft.
Behind the four QBs, there’s a ton of talent but also a very cloudy picture. There’s a host of players knotted up at +10000 in betting odds, including standouts such as Alabama LB Will Anderson.