NFL Draft: Seahawks start wide receiver run with Jaxon Smith-Njigba pick
Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the first wide receiver off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft, getting the chance to join a formidable group at the position with the Seattle Seahawks and prompting on a run on picks at the position.
Five wide receivers had gone in the top 10 over the course of the previous two drafts, but it wasn't until pick number 20 that the Seahawks finally selected Smith-Njigba.
He links up with a receiver group that already features two Pro Bowlers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, giving more ammunition to quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith-Njigba missed all but three games for Ohio State last season owing to a hamstring injury.
However, he was outstanding in 2021, racking up 1,606 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, his success coming in large part through his tremendously smooth route-running, excellent ball tracking skills and elusiveness after the catch.
The Seahawks, who earlier took cornerback Devon Witherspoon fifth overall, will look for Smith-Njigba to help lift them to the top of the NFC West. Seattle reached the playoffs last season with a 9-8 record, finishing second in their division to the San Francisco 49ers, whom they lost to in the Wild Card round.
Another wide receiver went with the next pick after Smith-Njigba as the Los Angeles Chargers selected TCU star Quentin Johnston and the run continued as the Baltimore Ravens took Zay Flowers from Boston College on the day that saw them finally agree to terms on a new deal with former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson.
USC's Jordan Addison, maligned by many because of his 5ft 11in and 178-pound frame, was the next to go off the board as the Minnesota Vikings put those concerns to one side, betting on his route-running prowess and yards after catch upside.