SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks add to WR room at No. 20 with OSU’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Apr 27, 2023, 7:42 PM | Updated: Apr 29, 2023, 3:58 pm

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of Ohio State scores a touchdown against Utah in the 2022 Rose Bowl. (Harry How/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 27: (L-R) Jaxon Smith-Njigba poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 20th overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station on April 27, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 27: Jaxon Smith-Njigba walks onstage after being selected 20th overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station on April 27, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 27: (L-R) Jaxon Smith-Njigba poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 20th overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station on April 27, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 04: Jaxon Smith‐Njigba of Ohio State participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 04, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) COLUMBUS, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 17: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes makes a diving catch during the second quarter of a game against the Toledo Rockets at Ohio Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images) PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to the bench during a 48-45 win over the Utah Utes at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes catches a touchdown pass as Malone Mataele #15 of the Utah Utes defends during the fourth quarter in the Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball after a reception during the first half against the Utah Utes in the Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after a first down pass in the second half of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Rod Moore #19 of the Michigan Wolverines talk during the first quarter at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: Daxton Hill #30 of the Michigan Wolverines tackles Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first quarter at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) COLUMBUS, OHIO - NOVEMBER 20: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes tries to avoid the tackle of Xavier Henderson #3 of the Michigan State Spartans after a first half catch at Ohio Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) COLUMBUS, OHIO - NOVEMBER 20: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a first half touchdown with Thayer Munford #75 while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) COLUMBUS, OHIO - OCTOBER 30: Jeremy Ruckert #88 and Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate a reception during the second half of their game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) COLUMBUS, OHIO - OCTOBER 09: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball past Ruben Hyppolite II #11 of the Maryland Terrapins in the second quarter during a game at Ohio Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Throughout the offseason, one of the most common names mocked to the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 20 pick was Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. That ultimately proved to be true as the Hawks made Smith-Njigba the first receiver off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Seattle Seahawks Draft Breakdown: A look at every 2023 NFL Draft pick

The Seahawks added to what’s already a great wide receiver room with Smith-Njigba, who joins DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as top-end weapons for quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith-Njigba was a star for the Buckeyes in 2021, catching 95 passes for over 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns from C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick this year.

But after that All-American campaign, which included a 347-yard performance against Utah in the Rose Bowl, Smith-Njigba caught just five passes in three games in 2022 due to a hamstring injury.

Smith-Njigba isn’t a “burner” receiver with elite speed like Metcalf or Lockett, but he’s very shift and is seen as one of the top route runners in this year’s draft class. During a draft profile leading up to Thursday’s first round, former NFL quarterback and current Seattle Sports host Brock Huard called Smith-Njigba “cold-blooded” at the receiver position.

“He has been a calculated, cold-blooded killer as a route runner,” Huard said.

Seahawks Draft Profile: ‘Cold-blooded’ OSU WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Smith-Njigba profiles as a slot receiver in the NFL with his skill set and size (6 foot 1, 196 pounds).

“He’s not your bonafide ‘put them outside and put them No. 1 and he can beat anybody in this league’ (type of guy),” Huard said during that profile. “He is a slot receiver that can destroy any nickelback in this league, and I do feel comfortable saying that.”

Seattle’s No. 5 pick, Devon Witherspoon, was the highest-drafted cornerback of the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era dating back to 2010. That’s also the case for Smith-Njigba, who is the first wide receiver this Seahawks regime has selected in the first round.

2023 Seattle Seahawks draft picks

• First round (5th overall): Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon
• First round (20th overall): Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
• Second round (37th overall): Auburn edge Derick Hall
• Second round (52nd overall): UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet
• Fourth round (108th overall): LSU guard Anthony Bradford
• Fourth round (123rd overall): Mississippi State defensive tackle Cameron Young
• Fifth round (151st overall): Michigan edge Mike Morris
• Fifth round (15th overall): Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi
• Sixth round (198th overall): New Mexico safety Jerrick Reed II
• Seventh round (237th overall): Georgia RB Kenny McIntosh

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Seahawks add to WR room at No. 20 with OSU’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba