NAME: Jaxon Smith-Njigba
SCHOOL: Ohio State
HOMETOWN: Rockwall, TX
HIGH SCHOOL: Rockwall
GAMES WATCHED: Akron, Rutgers, Penn State
- 2020 (7 games): 13 targets with 10 receptions for 49 yards and 1 TD.
- 2021 (13 games): 112 targets with 95 receptions for 1606 yards and 9 TDs. 6 drops, 1 fumble.
A five star recruit out of Rockwall, Texas who played at a high school of the same name. After winning Gatorade’s Texas Player of the Year, Smith-Njigba decided to play his college football at Ohio State. After sitting behind big names in 2020, he broke out in 2021, in large part due to his fluid route running and movement after the catch. His routes and feet are quick, yet smooth, similar to DeVonta Smith, who was drafted 10th overall in 2021. By not moving too abruptly, he is able to keep his straight-line speed, even on quick cuts. He consistently beats jams from defensive backs due to his ability to attack leverage and quickly take advantage of his own speed and inconsistencies in their footwork. Working primarily out of the slot, Smith-Njigba starts many of his routes with similar releases, making it difficult for corners to identify what he’s running. He’s also just as dangerous after the catch, possessing elite speed and ability to make the first defender miss. The main concern in his profile comes from the talent around him, as he shared the field with Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who were both first round picks in 2022. If he is able to sustain his elite production from a season ago, he will certainly be picked in round one.