Ohio State WR Very Much in Demand
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is considered the best wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft Class. Smith-Njigba attended Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas where he played high school football. He finished his high school career winning the Landry Award and was a five-star prospect. In 2019, he committed to Ohio State University where he played college football from 2020-2022, having his best season in 2021 recording 1,606 yards and 9 touchdowns.
His freshman year as a Buckeye was silent as he only recorded 10 receptions for 49 yards and scored 1 touchdown. His sophomore year (2021) as a Buckeye would turn out to be his breakout year as a star. In that year, Ohio State developed the best wide receiver trio in college football as they had Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. His best performance of the season was in the 2022 Rose Bowl where he caught 15 receptions for 347 receiving yards, scored 3 touchdowns, and was named the MVP in a 48-45 Ohio State victory over Utah.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba Draft Odds
- Texans (Picks: 2, 12) +400
- Bears (Pick 9) +500
- Patriots (Pick 14) +600
- Ravens (Pick 23) +800
- Packers (Pick 15) +800
- Giants (Pick 26) +900
This year’s wide receiver draft class isn’t considered as deep as years past. This makes Ohio State Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s landing spot that much more interesting. The obvious landing spots may be near the top, but with teams like the Giants, Packers, and Ravens, getting a new receiver is a top priority. This makes taking a long shot bet very appealing. If you’re thinking about getting in on this, Caesars Sportsbook Ohio will have great promo codes before the NFL draft gets underway. The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 27, and ends on Saturday, April 29.
Unfortunately, in the first game of the 2022 season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Smith-Njigba injured his hamstring on a dirty hit in the first quarter, ending his season and college career. On December 5, 2022, Smith-Njigba declared for the NFL Draft, officially saying goodbye to the Buckeyes and their fans. He finished his college career with 110 receptions for 1,698 receiving yards, averaging 15.4 yards per reception, and scoring 10 receiving touchdowns.
His accomplishments include a third-team Associated Press All-American and third-team Big Ten Conference selection as a sophomore, ranking third in the FBS with 1,606 receiving yards and tying for ninth with 95 receptions in 13 games.
Smith-Njigba performed well at the combine, wowing scouts, resulting in increasing his draft stock. His athleticism showed when running the gauntlet, catching everything in his grasp. He excels at contested catches and possesses excellent hands. NFL Scouts labeled him as a slot receiver.
- Vertical Jump: 35″
- Broad Jump: 10’5″
- 3-Cone Drill: 6.57 seconds
- 20 yard Shuttle: 3.93 seconds
Smith-Njigba had a fantastic pro-day performance catching passes from quarterback C.J. Stroud one last time in Columbus. He presented to scouts what they would acquire by showcasing his elite route running, ability to catch every ball thrown to him, and the vision he contains when tracking down the ball. Smith-Njigba made his case to the NFL Scouts on why he should be the first receiver taken off the board come draft day. In addition to an elite performance, he ran a 4.48 40-Yard dash for the crowd to see, indicating that his hamstring is 100 percent healthy.
Smith-Njigba has been linked to several teams including the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and the Dallas Cowboys. Nine members of the Giants staff attended his pro day in Columbus signaling strong interest. Following his pro day, the members of the Giants organization took the future rookie receiver out to dinner. Smith-Njigba said “It was great, great dinner, great conversation, great people, and great coaches. I feel like they are on the come up, you saw it last year with them making the playoffs, and them doing their thing. I definitely loved meeting with them, we had a great conversation and a great time so I’m happy I got to do that.” In my opinion, I believe that the New York Giants will trade up from their number 25 spot to select Smith-Njigba within the top 12 in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Fantasy Football Prediction 2023
Wherever Smith-Njigba lands, he will become the new WR1 for his respective team. Recent history shows that rookie receivers can have “fantasy stud” years. Examples of standout rookie performances in PPR leagues include A.J. Brown (2019) scoring a total of 217.1 fantasy points, Justin Jefferson (2020) scoring a total of 274.2 fantasy points, and Ja’Maar Chase (2021) scoring a total of 304.6 fantasy points. My prediction is that Jaxon Smith-Njigba will accumulate around 1,000 yards receiving, recording a minimum of six touchdowns, and scoring a total of at least 250 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Lawrence is a fan of the Green Bay Packers. He is currently a graduate student at William Paterson University pursuing a master’s degree in Financial Planning. His hobbies include all things fantasy football, weightlifting, collecting Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, and playing Madden. He specializes in dynasty fantasy football having won two championships in the past five years. He is also a college football fan who loves to watch his Buckeyes play on Saturdays while drinking pumpkin-flavored coffee. He is always looking to evolve his game as a fantasy football player and one of his goals is to help other players do the same.