Jaxon Smith-Njigba Dynasty Rookie Profile – Looking Forward

A five-star prospect out of Texas in the 2020 high school recruiting class, JSN (as he is often called) was the #29 overall prospect in the class and the #5 wide receiver. He chose to attend Ohio State University over offers to other schools such as Notre Dame, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

He played as a true freshman in 2020 but really broke out in 2021 as a sophomore. In 13 games that year he ended with 95 catches for 1,606 yards and 9 touchdowns. After his sophomore season, he was named to the All-Big10 Third Team and was a Third Team All-American, and was the Rose Bowl MVP.

2022 ended up feeling like a step backward for Jaxon, as he was limited to only three games due to a hamstring injury. He ended his season with a very modest 5 catches for 43 yards in those games. In early December 2022, he declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he did not participate in the College Football Playoff due to the hamstring issue.

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Jaxon Smith-Njigba Dynasty Rookie Profile – Looking Forward

At 6’1″ and 196lbs Jaxon has the typical size we have come to see from recent NFL-level Ohio State wide receivers. Garrett Wilson (6’0″ and 192lbs) and Chris Olave (6’0″ and 187lbs) went 10th and 11th (respectively) in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Marvin Harrison Jr. (6’4″ and 205lbs) looks to be an early pick in 2024. He does not have amazing size or speed for an NFL wide receiver, but the nuances of the position are where Jaxon makes his impact.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Dynasty Rookie Profile
Data and image courtesy of RAS

Jaxon has great hands, which allows him to highpoint the ball and secure contested catches. As one of, if not the best best, route runners in the class he can find creases in zone coverage, and separate from man coverage. His agility and flexibility let him move in and out of cuts smoothly and take advantage of slight lapses in coverage. He can stop on a dime and has enough burst where he can create a window in coverage where they may have not been one before.

Jaxon does not have to end speed, or ideal burst, but has enough of both to get by with given his other skills. With his size and skillset he is likely only a slot receiver in the NFL, he just does not have the physical strength to contend on the outside, but with the current NFL moving to more three wide receiver sets, he will see the field early in this career. Some have concerns that nearly all of this college production came in one season, but what he showed in that one season will be enough to have his name called on Day One of the 2023 NFL Draft.

As of this writing (updated: 3:15pm CT on 4/16/2023) Jaxon is currently the odds-on favorite to be the first wide receiver taken in the Draft, at -250 odds. Zay Flowers is next at +350. He is also the #1 wide receiver we have ranked for the 2023 NFL Draft class in our Dynasty Rookie Rankings and Dynasty SuperFlex Rookie Rankings.

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