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Three Things To Know About Seahawks First-Round Pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba 

Learn more about Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle’s second first-round pick in the 2023 draft. 


With their second pick in Thursday's first round, the Seahawks selected Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the 20th overall pick. Here are three things to know about the first receiver selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

1) 2022 Rose Bowl Offensive MVP

A nagging hamstring injury limited Jaxon Smith-Njigba to just 3 games played for the Buckeyes in 2022, but he ended the 2021 season with a bang. On New Year's Day, the Buckeyes wideout nabbed 15 receptions for three touchdowns, recording 347 receiving yards—the most in bowl game history. Smith-Njigba's performance helped Ohio State secure a 48-45 Rose Bowl victory over the Utah Utes, earning the offensive Most Valuable Player honors.

In that contest, Smith-Njigba surpassed Buckeyes legend David Boston to set a single-season receiving record with 1,606 yards.

2) WR1: Climbing Pre-Draft Rankings

The lead-up to draft time is a mystery for many, as teams alter and finalize their boards after extended evaluation and meetings. Despite just 23 games played in his college career, Smith-Njigba left a lasting impression on many - including ESPN Draft Analyst Matt Miller.

Smith-Njigba remains my top-ranked wideout because of what we have seen: eight straight games of over 95 yards to close out the 2021 season and the greatest bowl game ever for a wide receiver. He has shown excellent body control at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds while showcasing the burst and agility to create separation against NFL-caliber defenders. The injury must be weighed in the evaluation, but a healthy JSN is the best receiver in the class.


Was: 20 / Now: 11 / Movement: +9

Smith-Njigba's rise on the board has as much to do with his hype as a potential WR1 in this class as it does with what he was able to showcase at the combine. He led all wide receivers in both three-cone and short shuttle numbers, at 6.57 and 3.93, respectively. Both marks were above the 96th percentile for wide receivers. If you ask 10 different scouts who their top five wide receivers are in this class, you might get 10 different combinations. But it feels like Smith-Njigba is trending toward that title as the first receiver off the board.

3) 2023 NFL Combine: Showtime in Indy

After missing the majority of the 2022 season, a healthy Smith-Njigba finally got a chance to showcase his skills at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The 6-foot Dallas native recorded a 3.93-second 20-yard shuttle, ranking fourth-best for the wideout position since 2007 (Avg 4.28). Smith-Njigba's 6.57-second three-cone drill ranks No.12 in that span amongst receivers participating in the combine (Avg 6.94). The former Buckeye ranked No.1 amongst all 2023 wideout participants in both categories.

From the red carpet to center stage and beyond, take a look at photos from throughout cornerback Devon Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba's draft day in Kansas City.

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