The NFL Draft is still 2 months away and it’s time to start looking to the future. The Super Bowl is behind us and the draft is quickly approaching. We’ll take a quick look at the top receivers in this draft and what they bring to the table. The top three draft prospects at wide receiver are Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, USC’s Jordan Addison, and Texas Christian’s Quentin Johnson.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba -Ohio State
Smith-Njigba comes across as the most polished receiver of the group. After watching game film, here are a few takeaways. First, he’s the top route runner and that’s one of the best things for a rookie wide receiver to have before entering the NFL. You often have to teach techniques to an NFL rookie but that won’t be the case for him. He’s fast and twitchy, often creating his own space. He makes difficult catches look automatic which is tough even for many NFL veterans. However, the game film proves it.
What’s the one thing to worry about with Smith-Njigba that could cause him to fall to the late first round? Could the other receivers go ahead of him despite the overall gap in skill set and talent level? The quick and easy answer is yes due to the fact injuries plagued his 2022 season. Smith-Njigba rarely saw the field in 2022 due to injuries sustained against Notre Dame in week one. He tried to come back but didn’t look the same since he clearly needed more time to heal.
The Buckeye standout couldn’t play against Georgia. Opting to sit out was likely a good decision as he will be healed and ready for NFL play right away. Although, it could be a setback as well, sitting out will likely work in his favor.
Jordan Addison -University of Southern California
What is the number one thing Addison brings to the table? Addison is fast and perhaps the most twitchy of all of the receivers. His quick footwork makes him a problem for opposing defenses.
Addison makes defenders miss open tackles with ease. His fancy footwork with stop-and-go technique looks like something straight out of a Madden game but he does it anyway. Addison also brings a lot of playbook knowledge since he played at Pittsburgh and USC. You probably won’t need to worry about him figuring out NFL play calls. He’s seen a lot that will work to his advantage.
Quentin Johnson -Texas Christian University
Johnson is fast and electrifying. He often burns defenders and forces them to catch up to him. While not necessarily as polished as Smith-Njigba and Addison, he’s a deep threat who can cause defensive coordinators nightmares. He also brings some physical prowess to the table. If he improves his route running and catching consistency, Johnson has the ability to be a starter in the NFL.
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