NFL Draft Profile: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

As the NFL's annual free agency frenzy comes to a close, it's time for teams to look forward to the year's best and last chance to improve their rosters: the NFL Draft. As April 27th approaches, we'll look at the prospects most likely to transform a franchise's fortunes.

The Player: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver

Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba was one of college football's most promising players in 2021, tallying 95 receptions for a colossal 1606 yards and nine touchdowns for the Buckeyes at only 19 years old. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury cost him all but three games in 2022. Now, he enters the NFL Draft a one-year wonder, one year removed from his breakout season.

The Tools:

Smith-Njigba has adequate NFL size at 6'1" and 196 pounds. His game revolves around his incredible quickness and suddenness, which he confirmed at the combine: he posted scorching times in the 20-yard shuttle (3.93 seconds) and three-cone drill (6.57 seconds). His unwillingness to sprint at the combine concerned many evaluators, but he demonstrated adequate speed at his pro day, logging a respectable 4.48-second yard dash.

The Verdict:

Ohio State has produced many credible wider receivers in recent years, from Chris Olave to Terry McLauren to Michael Thomas, and Smith-Njigba blew them all away in his lone healthy year as a starter. He has elite traits that should allow him to get open early and often. He'll be a maddeningly slippery jitterbug in the open field. Now that he has proven he has NFL-level speed, teams should be all over him in the first round.

Photo Credit: © Joshua A. Bickel / USA TODAY NETWORK