Jaxon Smith Njigba, WR Ohio State
Okay, let's start with the outlier and the most obvious. This selection makes sense no matter who the Texans take with their earlier selection. This is the downright favorite amongst most analysts for the Houston Texans at pick 12. I believe if the stud receiver from Ohio State is available at 12 the Texans will run up to turn the card in to take him.
Last year the Texans were rumored to have been very interested in the top four receivers and once all four were taken in the five selections before their pick at 13, the Texans were open to moving back. I believe the Texans recognize the need and desire to get a top wide receiver in this year's draft. Smith-Njigba is that guy.
During his time at Ohio State, he proved to be a very smooth and natural route runner with strong hands, a good understanding of leverage, and his ability to catch in traffic and maneuver around zone defenses to find the soft spots. Smith-Njigba secured 95 catches for 1,605 yards in his lone healthy season. And that was on an offense that already had two other wideouts go in the top 11 last year making him the 'third' option.
I believe his college tape is very similar to that of former LSU star Justin Jefferson in the way in which they were utilized. Due to LSU's embarrassment of riches at wide receiver at the time, Jefferson was typically lined up in the slot. However, when he transitioned to the pro he had no problem as an out-boundary receiver. I believe the same transition will be similarly smooth, though with different ceilings, for Smith-Njigba. I think he's a lot more like a Chris Olave than Jefferson, just for the record.
The Texans have a murky, at best, wide receiver room. Robert Woods is a solid veteran number two option on an offense but is probably best served as a third option. Nico Collins still hasn't proven to be a consistent enough receiver to be a number two option and last year's second second-round selection John Metchie, we have not seen due to his battle with Leukemia last year.
Ideally, Smith Njigba, who many have as the highest-rated wideout in this class, can become the number one option for this Texans offense that desperately needs one. If development goes well, the Texans could end the season with a wide receiver room that has a star wideout in Smith Njigba, a hard-nosed slot receiver and safety blanket in Metchie, and a solid red zone option in Collins with Woods rounding it all out. This would be a slam dunk selection if that were the case.