Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Jr. (OL24) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
- Ohio State Buckeyes tackle Paris Johnson Jr is the +100 favorite to be the first offensive lineman off the board during the 2023 NFL Draft
- Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski and Georgia’s Broderick Jones are the other OL with odds shorter than +2000
- An offensive lineman has been picked among the top seven in each of the past three NFL Drafts
If recent NFL Draft trends hold again this year, it won’t be long before an offensive lineman is selected. Should the oddsmakers prove accurate, that offensive lineman will be Ohio State Buckeyes tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr is the +100 favorite in the NFL Draft odds to come off the board first. The Buckeyes tackle was a consensus All-American and All-Big Ten selection in 2022.
NFL Draft Odds First Offensive Lineman
|Paris Johnson (Ohio State)||+100|
|Peter Skoronski (Northwestern)||+105|
|Broderick Jones (Georgia)||+275|
|Darnell Wright (Tennessee)||+3000|
|Dawand Jones (Ohio State)||+3000|
|O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida)||+3000|
|John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota)||+3500|
|Anton Harrison (Oklahoma)||+4000|
|Steve Avila (TCU)||+5000|
|Cody Mauch (North Dakota State)||+8000|
|Joe Tippman (Wisconsin)||+8000|
|Matthew Bergeron (Syracuse)||+10000|
|Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland)||+10000|
Two other tackles – Peter Skoronski (+105) of the Northwestern Wildcats and Broderick Jones of the Georgia Bulldogs (+275) – are the only others given odds shorter than +2000 to be the first offensive lineman selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
An OL player has come off the board by no later than the seventh overall pick in each of the last three drafts. There’s been an OL chosen no later than 11th overall in each of the past five drafts. Odds as of March 7 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Johnson Jr Has All the Tools
A starter at right guard during his first two seasons with the Buckeyes, Johnson was an All-Big Ten selection at that position in 2021. He made the move over to left tackle for the 2022 campaign.
quick feet ⚡️ @ParisJohnsonJr
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) March 5, 2023
At 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, he certainly possesses the physical size to be a dominating presence at the position in the NFL. His combination of explosiveness off the line and his fluid movement are what get NFL scouts excited about Johnson.
It was this set of physical tools that enabled Johnson to be a starter at both guard and tackle. Over the past two seasons, he allowed just three sacks and 26 QB pressures.
Skoronski Carrying Impressive Bloodlines
The left tackle who was voted the top offensive lineman in the Big Ten in 2022 was Northwestern’s Skoronski. He was a starter all three years for the Wildcats, including as a true freshman in 2020. And he was an All-Big Ten selection each season.
The 6-foot-4, 313-pounder comes by his success at the position naturally. His grandfather Bob Skoronski was the starting left tackle for the legendary Vince Lombardi-led Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s.
Jones Helped Cause At NFL Combine
Georgia tackle Jones certainly turned some heads during the recent NFL Combine. His 40 time of 4.97 seconds was the fastest of any OL. By comparison, Skoronski ran a 5.16. Johnson opted not to run the 40.
“Smooth easy run” @millionairemov3
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) March 5, 2023
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Jones was displaying that he’s graceful on his feet for a massive man. With an arm length of 35 inches, he also shows the physical tools to fend off determined NFL edge rushers.
Which OL Comes Off NFL Draft Board First?
Only a one-year starter at Georgia, while Jones certainly has physical tools that wow people, he’s far from a finished product and might not be ready to step in as an NFL starter. He’ll go in the top 20, but won’t be the first OL chosen.
Expectations are that due to his shorter arms, Skoronski is best suited to play guard as an NFLer. That little bit of uncertainty in his future potential is probably enough to keep him from being the first OL selected.
Johnson might not keep alive the streak of OL going in the top 10, but he’ll still be the first one to hear his name called on draft day. A likely landing spot for him is at #11 to the Tennessee Titans, where he’ll be replacing another former Big Ten standout. The Titans recently released three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan, who starred in college at Michigan.
Oddly enough, Lewan was also the 11th overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Pick: Paris Johnson Jr (-115)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.