Jaxon Smith Njigba NFL Draft
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2023 NFL Draft Focus: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 NFL Draft Focus. In this series, we will look at the incoming prospects hoping their names will be heard on draft night. Be sure to check often as we will produce content until the event’s start.

BACKGROUND

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a wide receiver prospect out of Texas. He had a legendary career out of high school, earning him buzz from almost all colleges in the country. In his senior season, he had 104 catches for 2094 yards and 35 TDs. This performance was rewarded with the Landry Award and Texas Gatorade Football Player of the Year Award. Rivals listed him as a five-star prospect and the fourth-best WR in the class. He committed to play for Ohio State.

COLLEGE CAREER

Ohio State always has elite wide receiver talent, which was shown in Njigba’s first year. With all the talent, he was limited to just seven games as a freshman. He had 10 catches for 49 yards and a TD. His second year was when everything changed for him. In 13 games, he had 95 receptions, 1606 yards, and nine TDs. He broke multiple records that season such as an FBS Bowl Record of 347 yards in the Rose Bowl and 15 receptions in a win against Nebraska. He was awarded Third-team All-Big Ten and Third-team All-American for his performance that season.

2022-2023 COLLEGE CAREER

His junior season was met with disappointment as he only played in three games. He had an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff but he decided to sit out. He decided to forego his final year at Ohio State for the upcoming NFL Draft.

STRENGTHS: Route-Running

Jaxon has a lot of talent as a slot receiver. He can read defenses, has smooth hips and can make quick adjustments. His focus is unmatched especially in the open field. What’s also impressive is that his co-WRs in the 2021 season are all in the NFL and he was still able to get all those numbers. His soft but strong hands will make him a coach and QB’s dream.

WEAKNESSES: Lack Of Explosion

He has been graded as a not-so-good athlete and lacks serious explosion. The injury with the hamstring can affect his limited athleticism so he has to prove it’s just a one-year thing. This may be a challenge, especially against elite cornerbacks. Another nitpick is that he drops the ball a little too much for a supposed elite WR coming out of college.

PLAYER COMPARISON: Adam Thielen

TEAMS WHO COULD DRAFT HIM

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is seen as either the top or second-best WR in this draft class. With how much offense is prioritized in the NFL, he will be an excellent asset for anyone that drafts him. Teams like Houston, Green Bay, and New England would greatly benefit from having Jaxon in their team to help their young QBs.

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