Draft Profile: BioJaxon Smith-Njigba from Rockwall High School was rated a 4 star recruit by ESPN and handed a 5 star grade by 247 Sports. Following high school, Smith-Njigba opted to join Ohio State.
In 2020 as a freshman Smith-Njigba saw action in 7 games for the Buckeyes as he made 10 receptions for 49 yards for an average of 4.9 yards per reception, with one TD, and a QB rating when targeted of 107.5.
As a sophomore in 2021 he played in 13 games and had 95 catches for 1595 yards for an average of 16.8 yards per catch, with 9 TDs, and a QB rating when targeted of 141.8.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Led Ohio state in receptions and yardage in 2021 despite playing officially as the third receiver behind Olave and Garret Wilson
- Smooth hips with outstanding agility who is equally adept at moving laterally as vertically
- Has outstanding soft hands demonstrated by his impressive 141.8 QB rating when targetted in 2021
- Often used on deep routes, getting separation down the sideline or over the middle on crossing routes by extending his arms rather than pure speed.
- Does a nice job locating and tracking deep passes and is a legitimate vertical threat. Willing to go up and attack the ball.
- Has the strong hands any NFL wide receiver coach and quarterback would covet. Tracks the deep ball over either shoulder and brings in passes fluidly without breaking stride downfield.
- Has a knack for getting open and is a quarterback's best friend - passers just need to toss the ball in his area and he'll come down with it.
- Has excellent straight-line speed and takes advantage of open seams when his quarterback is on target.
- Good effort and technique as a blocker for his size. Can beat the press with elusiveness or physical contact. Runs elite crisp routes with sharp cuts.
- Has good body strength to squirm out of tackles with the coordination to maneuver his frame between defenders.
- Has a nice combination of speed and size and explosive acceleration
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Has good but not great speed and doesn't possess elite athletic skills
- Not particularly strong and thus not dominant as a blocker
- Has had a few more drops than you would hope for in a top wideout - mostly due to occasional lapses of concentration rather than anything more intrinsic
- Spent most of his college career playing in the slot - so it remains to be seen how he will stand up as an outside threat
Scouting Report: SummarySmith-Njigba begins the 2022 campaign as one of the top receivers in college football – if not the top receiver – and a candidate for national honors After an outstanding season when he led Ohio State with school-record totals of 95 receptions and 1,606 receiving yards on a team that also featured first-round NFL Draft picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
He has quite simply the best natural playing skills of any receiver in this year's draft class (although not necessarily the top athletic skills), he runs great routes, is explosive, and has nice hands along with the ability to fight for the ball and a natural affinity to find gaps in the coverage. Expect 2022 to be even better than 2021 as Smith-Njigba will be gifted the number one receiving spot on the Buckeye's offense. The only thing that could stop him from being the first WR off the board in the 2023 draft would be a disappointing 40 time at the combine.
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