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2023 Prospect Profile: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Age  21

Height   6’1

Weight   196 lbs

20 yard shuttle 3.93

3 Cone Drill 6.57

Vertical jump 35”

Broad jump   10’5”

What's the buzz:  From the school that has brought you Michael Thomas, Terry McLaurin, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and has Marvin Harrison Jr looming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is another intriguing pass catching prospect from Ohio State, which we may as well call Wide Receiver U.  JSN has a lot of the traits you’re looking for in a young star wide receiver.  The NFL draft is of course a crap shoot, but as recent years have told us, an Ohio State WR is one of the safer bets you can place.  

Running report.   Smooth as silk. Nifty and nimble on end-arounds and jet sweeps.  However, he doesn't possess that “top-end” speed people expect to see from young pass catchers.  Some receivers stretch the field vertically; JSN will exploit you from sideline to sidelines with intelligent decisions off the line and beating bigger defenders to a soft spot underneath.  

Catching report.  Talk about hands.   It’s hard to find tape of JSN even bobbling a ball, let alone drop it.  Ohio State QB’s accumulated a 141.8 passer rating when looking JSN’s way in 2021.  Superb concentration, gets to an open space and sits down and displays tremendous footwork in the back of the end zone and along the sidelines.  

Weakness:  This has been a point of contention, as he projects to play the slot only, where he did at Ohio State.   It would be hard pressed to see JSN out muscle bigger stronger corners on the outside.  But Ohio State develops their WR tremendously well to get acclimated to the NFL game right away.  

Lazy Comparison.  Sterling Sheppard.  A PPR machine but whose stature and lack of blazing speed may prohibit him from reaching an elite status.  If he could end up playing alongside an Alpha X Wide receiver that can draw coverage away ( Dallas across from Ceedee Lamb, or Minnesota across from Justin Jefferson? ), JSN could thrive.  Or, in a familiar scenario;  Chicago reunited with Justin Fields or an opportunity to be paired with C.J Stroud?

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