If you’re new to Gaming Society and our fun, off-kilter coverage of sports, welcome! If you’re not new, you might remember that we’ve been on the Jaxon Smith-Njigba hype train for awhile now. Now, the Seattle Seahawks are too.
(Remember that time we told you to bet on JSN as the first receiver off the board, way back when you actually stood to make a decent profit? We do. ❤️ Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming!)
This is a very interesting (see also: very small) group of wide receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft class, which makes it even less difficult to identify him as the class's clear-cut WR1.
Position: Wide receiver
School: Ohio State (Junior)
Measurables: 6'0 5/8", 196 lbs.
The TLDR; In my totally super humble opinion, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the clear-cut WR1 in this class. The "haters" will say he's not fast enough, but I'm of the mindset that everything else he does, from his hands to his route running to his abilities to make plays after the catch, are more than enough to make up for that particular deficiency.
Want to know how he stacks up against other NFL receivers? He played with two of them in his sophomore season (Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave — both 2022 first-round picks), and he outshined both of them. Smith-Njigba outpaced both Wilson and Olave in 2021 — in receiving yards, passer rating when targeted, yards after the catch per reception, contested catch rate, and yards per route run. He was the king.
Unfortunately, JSN missed most of his final season at OSU with a hamstring injury, but that 2021 season left a lasting impression strong enough to carry on through to the draft.
This pick felt like a surprise, but realistically, it makes some sense for the Seahawks to look toward the future with their receiving corps. They draft the best receiver off the board with their second first-round pick and another weapon for 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year – Geno Smith. He'll lineup with studs like D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, undoubtedly filling a void in the slot.
The Seahawks might officially have the most stacked receiving corps in the NFL.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba doesn't necessarily fill a super urgent need, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like the Seahawks really have any super immediate needs. Ain't that nice?