By Nithinya Simuong — March 28, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.
The most talented receiver of the vintage, but also the most fragile?
Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Receveur – 21 ans – Junior – Ohio State
Size : 1m85
Weight : 89 kg
Stats 2022 : 3 games, 5 receptions, 43 yards
Estimated draft position : 1er tour
NFL Comparison : CeeDee Lamb
Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s (JSN) 2022 season is not indicative of the talent he possesses. Coming from a university that has produced many successful receivers at the NFL level, JSN should be no exception.
However, like many Draft prospects, questions accompany his profile. Due to his long injury during the 2022 season, and a physique far from NFL level, his pre-Draft preparation had better be efficient if he wants to be selected in the 1st round.
- Accuracy of plots
The layouts are the strong point of the receiver of Ohio State. This aspect of the game allows the quarterback in particular to find it very easily. Because of his very good roads, this allows him to create separations that can remind Justin Jefferson. He uses his body very well, and his fluidity in his movements allows him to often stand out. With these qualities, it also allows him to be able to gain yards after reception.
In 2021, he was targeted 112 times, for 95 receptions. A prodigious ratio of passes thrown/passes caught. All accompanied by only 5 drops. However, he does not have a large span in the hands, but JSN has this ability to always be well positioned to catch the ball. He is also very good at contested receptions and has good relaxation. A guarantee of security that could be verified in the NFL when the ball is thrown in its direction.
- Fitness ?
If separation is one of his qualities, he will nevertheless face cornerbacks who will be much more experienced on man-to-man coverage. (press). Therefore, it is not he who will exploit the big arm of a quarterback with his pure speed. This could therefore limit him in his future use in the NFL.
JSN certainly has the ideal prototype to be a number 1 receiver, but he lacks power. On contact, he can quickly be jostled, which could cause injuries more serious than those he experienced in university. He could therefore quickly go down to the Draft if ever recruiters think that his physique will continue to fail him in the future.
Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans
It will take a few years for Jaxon Smith-Njigba to acclimatize to the NFL level. The team that will take him will have to be patient and make the most of his qualities in the slotbefore he became a constant threat in every NFL team’s offensive schemes.
Having a No. 1 receiver by his side could help him perform in his early years. Most of them have either a tight end as their favorite target (Andrews for Baltimore, Waller for the Giants, Schultz for the Texans), or an experienced receiver: Thomas for the Saints, (although often injured lately) or Burks for the Titans (just drafted on No. 1 potential).