FullTime Fantasy Rookie Scouting Profile: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR) Ohio State
|Height||Weight||40-Time||DOB||NFL Draft||Dynasty ADP||NFL Comp|
|6-1||196||4.52*||02/14/2002||1st||1.02||Amon-Ra St. Brown|
Another five-star recruit out of Rockwall High School in Texas where he was named the 6A Player of the Year in 2019. Smith-Njiba played sparingly as a freshman, accumulating 49 yards on 10 grabs. Broke out in a huge way in 2021, amassing a Big Ten record 1,606 receiving yards. He also posted a record-breaking Rose Bowl performance with 15 receptions for 347 yards and three touchdowns while teammates Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson opted out of the game. Following 2021, Smith-Njigba earned third-team Big Ten and All-American honors. Smith-Njigba battled a hamstring injury in 2022 and recorded only four grabs.
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• Versatile inside/outside threat with premier hands and elite route-running capabilities from anywhere.
• Outstanding hands catcher who also excels in contested-catch situations.
• Gets into and out of breaks at top speed. Knack for finding weaknesses in zone coverage and always finds ways to get open. Tremendous instincts and feel.
• Led NCAA in yards per route run in 2001 despite running 88.6% of his routes out of the slot and averaging 9.4 ADOT.
• Does most of his damage out of the slot but has the instincts, speed, and route skills to be a formidable downfield weapon.
Areas for Improvement
• Lack of top-end speed. Posted just a 44th-percentile Speed Score. That may force NFL teams to see JSN as only a slot option.
• 122.0 Burst Score is merely average (54th percentile).
• Missed most of 2022 season with a hamstring injury and declined to run the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
• Had some concentration drops.
JSN has long been coveted as a potential PPR beast since his breakout 2021 campaign. Last year was certainly a disappointment but being timed between 4.48 and 4.53 in the 40 at Ohio State’s Pro Day quelled some of the concerns. If Smith-Njigba’s outstanding route-running and ability to exploit coverage gaps transfers to the NFL, he profiles as a potential slot monster in the Amon-Ra St. Brown/Keenan Allen mold. Smith-Njigba is a locked-in first-round talent who has a very good shot at being the first wide receiver selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. That warrants attention as the 1.02 overall in non-Superflex Dynasty Rookie drafts.