The 2023 NFL Draft process is well underway, and our team couldn’t be more excited. One 2023 NFL Draft prospect that we really like is Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Despite seeing limited action this season due to a hamstring injury, Smith-Njigba is still high up on our 2023 NFL Draft Big Board Top 200 Prospect Rankings. In this 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown Jaxon Smith-Njigba, as well as offer a 40 time, injury history, full scouting report, and player comparison.
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Jaxon Smith-Njigba 40 Time
I have Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba poised to run a 4.44 40 time at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. This time would be slightly quicker than the league average for the wide receiver position. On game film, Smith-Njigba displays excellent acceleration off the line of scrimmage to get upfield quickly.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba Injury History
Jaxon Smith-Njigba was limited to just three games this season due to a hamstring injury. His work ethic came under fire in December after ESPN’s Todd McShay was critical of Smith-Njigba’s decision to sit out of the College Football Playoff.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba Scouting Report
- Excellent Acceleration Off The Line Of Scrimmage
- Great Job Of Tracking Passes Downfield, Especially Outside The Numbers
- Good Job Of Creating Separation At The Top Of His Route
- Tendency To Drop Simple Pitch-And-Catch Throws
- Some Routes Lack The Sharpness That Others In Class Possess
- Blocking Ability Leaves A Lot To Be Desired
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a three-year contributor at wide receiver for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Primarily plays the slot receiver position for the Buckeyes. Many draft analysts have a first round draft grade on Smith-Njigba, despite only playing in three games this season due to a hamstring injury. He possesses solid height and weight for the position when compared to the league average. His predicted 40 time of 4.44 seconds is slightly better than the league average.
Smith-Njigba displays a solid ability to recognize lull in coverage and sit on routes in space. Has good acceleration off the line of scrimmage. Shows good use of hands to bat defender and create space through the stem. Has solid footwork at the top of the route to create space from defender. Solid explosiveness at the top of route to create separation. In the endzone, he has a good ability to create separation. Shows a solid catch radius to secure passes away from his body. Displays a solid ability to read and work back towards the quarterback when the pocket begins to collapse. Good ability to track balls, especially when outside the numbers. As a blocker, he possesses a good ability to drive and steer defenders to create space in the open field.
Furthermore, Jaxon Smith-Njigba has a tendency to drop the simple pitch-and-catch throws. Some of his routes lack the sharpness that others in this draft class possess. He has an adequate ability to get in front of the defender at the second-level to execute blocks. Lacks aggressiveness in space to attack defender to establish leverage.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba Player Comparison
My player comparison for Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is Robert Woods. The former USC Trojans wideout was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Following a four-year career in Buffalo, Woods signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Woods was traded to the Tennessee Titans in March of 2022. The height and weight numbers match, although Woods 40 time was a bit slower than what we’re predicting for Jaxon Smith-Njigba.