Rookie Scouting Profile: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

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

*Pro Day

College Production

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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Strengths

• 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.

Fantasy Outlook

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.

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About Jody Smith 487 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.