Rookie Spotlight: Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Is JSN the next NFL superstar?
Jaxon Smith-Njigba has a good chance to be the WR1 off the board. He is the best slot WR in this draft and the only WR I see with the chance to go before him is Quentin Johnston. If JSN had been draft eligible last year, there’s a chance he would’ve gone before his former teammates, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. I have JSN going at the 1.02 - 1.04 in rookie drafts, depending on your team’s needs.
JSN is 6’1, 200 pounds and runs around a 4.45 40. He had an amazing year in 2021 posting 95 receptions, 1,606 yards and 9 TDs. To wrap up 2021, he posted 15 receptions for 347 yards, and 3 TDs. Sadly, JSN got hurt in the second game of 2022 so we didn’t get to see another massive year from him. He is going to be fully healthy for the combine and training camp, so that will not factor into how teams draft him.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba probably has the best route tree in this class, which is what makes him one of the most polished WRs coming into the draft. My biggest comparison I think JSN will live up to is Keenan Allen. These two are so similar from the fact their route running is so clean, but what they can do after the catch is even more impressive. JSN has the sneaky quickness that will impress people. He lacks that 4.2 downfield speed, but all of his other qualities make up for it. Like Allen, JSN is able to use his body so well to create separation and make unreal catches.
Philidelphia Eagles: The Eagles don’t have a ton of flaws, so I wouldn’t be shocked if they snagged him at the 1.10, if they pass on Bijan Robinson. The Eagles lack a slot WR, and this would make them a lock to have a top 2-3 offense next year.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings need someone to complement Justin Jefferson with Thielen’s career being close to over. If Kirk Cousins is their answer for the next couple years, why not give him another weapon?
Los Angeles Chargers: If the Chargers get rid of Keenan Allen, I think they are the prime team to get a guy like JSN. Like I said before, JSN is basically Allen but way younger and way cheaper.
Tennessee Titans: If the Titans figure out their QB situation, within free agency, I wouldn’t be shocked for them to draft JSN to help out Treylon Burks.
I think the highest he will go is the picks 10 or 11 to the Eagles or Titans, but I can see him going to the Chargers at pick 21. If not, the Baltimore Ravens will be licking their chops if he falls to them at pick #22. If he falls past the Vikings at pick 24, the Giants and Cowboys will battle it out to get him 2 picks later.
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