Jaxon Smith-Njigba 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Set Big Ten receiving record in 2021 with 1,606 yards
- Set Rose Bowl record in 2021 with 347 receiving yards on 15 receptions and was named MVP
- 247 five-star recruit that was named Texas 6A State Player of the Year
- Scheme tendencies: Spread
- 2022 projected role: Starting wide receiver
Pros: Jaxon Smith-Njigba found elite production in 2021 despite having two first-round draft picks on the depth chart. He is an outstanding route-runner and separator where his deceptive footwork, body control, ability to read leverage, make sight adjustments, and run to open space made him consistently available for CJ Stroud to work him the football. He’s an extremely intelligent player with exceptional spatial awareness. He does well to continue working in scramble situations and he’s always competing to get open. Smith-Njigba has exceptional hands, ball skills, and focus at the catch point. He is decisive after the catch with excellent field vision. Everything Smith-Njigba does on the field is smooth, focused, and technically refined. He’s found production and is a threat to work all levels of the field. He does well to vary his release package to win early in routes, which allows him to gain leverage and get open.
Cons: While Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an outstanding route-runner and separator, he lacks top-end speed. He is reliant on technique because he isn’t simply going to win foot races to run away from coverage. That explosive top gear is missing from his skill set. Ohio State moves him around the formation and puts him in motion, but he has primarily functioned from the slot and enjoyed free releases. He has the footwork and body control to beat press coverage but hasn’t been challenged much in that regard, so developing and proving his ability to play out wide may remain a question.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino