Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 20th pick of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Smith-Njigba is the third Buckeye selected in the first round of this year’s draft, and the 90th Ohio State player to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft all-time.
Despite missing most of the 2022 college football season, Smith-Njigba was still the first receiver off the board. As a junior last year, Smith-Njigba played in just three games due to a hamstring injury and caught five passes for 43 yards.
As a sophomore in 2021, Smith-Njigba set school records with 95 receptions and 1,606 yards receiving. He also set a national bowl game and school record with 347 yards receiving in the 2022 Rose Bowl. In that game, Smith-Njigba caught 15 passes and scored three times.
Smith-Njigba finished the 2021 season in remarkable fashion, posting 100-yard receiving days in each of the Buckeyes’ final five games. He totaled 60 receptions for 958 yards in those last five outings.
Smith-Njigba came to Ohio State from Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas. He was a 5-star signee, but at the time he committed to the Buckeyes in November of 2018, he was ranked the No. 59 wide receiver in the nation.
Ohio State has now had 10 receivers selected in the first round of the NFL Draft over the past 30 years. Twenty-nine years ago, Seattle selected Buckeye receiver Joey Galloway with the eighth pick in the 1995 draft.
Records and Accolades
- Broke 20-year-old Big Ten receiving yards record (1,545 yards in 2001 by
Lee Evan, Wisconsin) with his 1,606 receiving yards in 2021
- 95 receptions ranks fifth-most in Big Ten history
- Set Rose Bowl records with 347 receiving yards and 15 receptions with three touchdowns and was named offensive player of the game
- The 347 receiving yards was also an all-time bowl game record, school
single-game record, the second-most in Big Ten history and the fifth-highest total in NCAA Division I history
- Had a 240-yard receiving game vs. Nebraska, also on a school-record 15
receptions, and seven games total in 2021 with at least 100 receiving yards
- Closed 2021 with five consecutive games with at least 100 receiving
yards while amassing 958 total yards and 60 receptions in those games for
averages of 191.6 yards per game and 12.0 receptions per game
- On the strength of his 2021 season, he finished 18th at Ohio State in career
receptions (110) and 21st in receiving yards (1,698)