Giants brass dines with top Ohio State WR prospect ahead of Pro Day

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA, new york giants
Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) runs on the sideline after taking a hard hit during the NCAA football game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are making their way around the country, scouting prospects at collegiate Pro Days in preparation for next month’s 2023 NFL Draft. The next stop on their list is Ohio State. OSU is hosting its Pro Day on Wednesday and the Giants have sent a contingent. New York’s top executives are in attendance and seem most interested in the Buckeyes’ top wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

According to Andrew Groover, Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll had dinner with Smith-Njigba on Tuesday night. Despite bolstering their skill positions through free agency, Big Blue is still significantly interested in this draft class’s top receiving talents. Jaxon Smith-Njigba happens to be one of them.

Giants interested in Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Giants sent nine representatives to Ohio State’s Pro Day, making them the second-most represented team in attendance (per Jim Nagy). All signs indicate that New York’s primary objective is to scout OSU’s dynamic WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Adding a top wide receiver prospect in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft “remains a likelihood” for the Giants, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN. Their interest in OSU’s Smith-Njigba makes that possibility even more realistic.

Smith-Njigba is a first-round talent that gets picked in mock drafts as early as the ninth overall pick (Chicago) and as late as the 27th overall pick (Buffalo). Analysts are having a tough time pinning down JSN’s draft stock. However, considering the Giants’ brass took the young man out to dinner this week, it’s safe to say they are interested in drafting him with the 25th overall pick.

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What could JSN bring to Big Blue?

Smith-Njigba is described as an “outstanding route-runner and separator,” ranking twelfth on The Draft Network’s list of top-100 prospects in this year’s class. He played in only three games for Ohio State in 2022 before enduring a season-ending injury. But in JSN’s 2021 sophomore season, he was unguardable.

In 2021, Smith-Njigba totaled 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games. His yardage as a sophomore set the Big Ten receiving record.

Smith-Njigba measured in at 6-foot-1, 196 pounds at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. He did not run the 40-yard dash, though he could run it at Wednesday’s Pro Day. JSN is not known for his straight-line speed, however, but he did turn heads during agility drills at the Combine. Smith Njigba’s 3.93s 20-yard shuttle and 6.57 three-cone drill were both the quickest times of anyone in the draft class.

It is easy to see why the New York Giants are so interested in Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba. JSN is a crafty route-runner and an elite separator. These two qualities are held highly by Brian Daboll and make Smith-Njigba a perfect fit in the Giants’ offense.