The Houston Texans hold the second and 12th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft and most assume they will go quarterback with the second overall pick. It's been that 12th pick of the first round that has seen multiple variations.
One such name is Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who is widely considered the top receiver prospect in this year's draft and he's been on a whirlwind tour around the NFL. Every year, about this time, teams are allowed to schedule their "top-30" recruits to individual visits with the rookies.
The Texans have reportedly scheduled one such visit with Smith-Njigba, which is likely to occur this week. Smith-Njigba doesn't have much film from the 2022 season given he played in only three games all of last season due to a hamstring injury he battled with all season.
The Houston Texans have several areas they could go here with the 12th pick and wide receiver is certainly one of them. Smith-Njigba would be a solid addition to their receiver room, but is he truly worth the 12th overall pick? Many scouts and analysts have indicated this draft only has about 15 - 18 true first-round graded players, is Smith-Njigba one of those?
Smith-Njigba is 6’1″ and weighs about 196 pounds. At the combine, he ran a 4.52, not blazing but adequate. Those numbers don’t really pop but he brings elite quickness and an ability to find open spots. Despite lacking elite-level speed, he’s still able to get downfield, creating separation with excellent route-running ability. He’s also solid in run blocking.
In 2021 Smith-Njigba caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards (Big Ten record) and nine touchdowns, producing the single greatest season in Big Ten history. He also set a Rose Bowl record that season with 347 receiving yards on 15 receptions, earning him MVP honors for the game.