- Jaxon Smith-Njigba has become the odds-on-favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted at -125.
- JSN’s elite agility times at the combine in the 3-cone drill and shuttle greatly increased his stock.
- Smith-Njigba did opt out of the 40 yard dash but assured media that he will run it at his pro day.
INDIANAPOLIS – Following the results of the NFL combine, a clear winner is Jaxon Smith-Njigba after he posted the best 3-cone drill and shuttle times of all available players. This resulted in the Ohio State product entering the lead to be the first wide receiver taken in the NFL draft at -125 odds.
To some this may be unsurprising after JSN entered the college year with the expectation that he would be the top WR prospect. Unfortunately, injury derailed his season and made his draft stock plummet and at one point
NFL sportsbooks had him as the third or fourth WR to be taken by odds.
First WR Selected Odds
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba -125
- Quentin Johnston +225
- Jordan Addison +575
- Zay Flowers +600
- Jalin Hyatt +650
JSN Continues to Reestablish Top WR Status
Coming into the 2022 CFB season, Smith-Njigba was set to light the world ablaze after setting the receptions (15), receiving yardage (347), and tying the touchdown (3) records in the 2021-2022 Rose Bowl.
But tragedy struck in Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame when JSN went down with a hamstring injury that would sideline him for the vast majority of the year. Now six months later at the NFL combine JSN posted absolutely elite numbers in the agility drills. In the 3-cone drill he posted a blazing fast 6.57, the fastest time among WRs by over a quarter of a second.
To put that into perspective, the difference between Smith-Njigba and the second place receiver was almost the same as second place to 14. He also topped all players across all positions in this drill.
His shuttle was equally as impressive at 3.93 seconds, beating out the second place receiver by again nearly a fifth of a second as well as being the only player in the entire combine to post a time under four seconds.
With truly unmatched agility and short-range burst, Smith-Njigba is shaping up to be a nightmare for cornerbacks to cover in the NFL. The only real concern remaining is his acceleration and straight-line speed that can be measured by the 40-yard dash.
Luckily for scouts and GMs, JSN has stated that he opted out of the 40-yard dash because “I just haven't had enough reps on the 40 yet, so pro day you'll see me run."
While JSN is unlikely to post mind-blowing numbers during his 40-yard dash, even logging a time that is a bit above average will be all he needs to continue having his odds and draft stock boosted.
Overall, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is one of the biggest risers coming out of the combine and his stock should only continue to become more attractive to teams with picks in the middle of the first round that need receiver help like the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, or Green Bay Packers.
After jumping past breakout TCU star Quentin Johnston to become the favorite, it is likely that JSN will continue to widen the gap, meaning now is a great time to take his -125 odds as a value on NFL betting sites.
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Jeremias is a lifelong Jaguars fan that began following football closely in 2013. He is a current Florida State University student with a double major in Media/Communication Studies and Editing, Writing, and Media. In his free time, you can find him writing, researching, betting, and watching all things NFL, NBA, and NHL related.