Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Weight: lbs
Age: --
College: Ohio State
Seattle Seahawks

2023 Season Outlooks

In terms of 2023 value, Smith-Njigba's landing spot doesn't look great. After all, receivers other than Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf combined for just 75 targets in Seattle last year. But the Seahawks didn't draft him in the first round just to have him learn from Lockett and Metcalf this year. The Seahawks threw 136 passes to tight ends last year and spent most of the year in two tight end sets, and that is what you should expect to change. If Metcalf and Lockett stay healthy all year, Smith-Njigba is likely a WR4 at best, but he has enormous upside if either miss time or if Father Time catches up to Lockett. We wouldn't draft Smith-Njigba before Round 10 in a redraft league, but he's a top-three pick in one-QB rookie only drafts.

Smith-Njigba is an exciting prospect. He out-produced Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave as a true sophomore at Ohio State, possesses elite short-area quickness, and was the 20th overall pick of this year’s draft.

The issue for his 2023 fantasy production is that he joins a Seahawks WR corps led by D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Could Smith-Njigba carve out a big enough role alongside those guys to be a fantasy difference maker this season? Sure.

Is that the most likely scenario? Nope.

Smith-Njibga is best treated as a WR4 with upside.

What We Learned Last YearA lingering hamstring injury limited Smith-Njigba to just 60 snaps last season.But he turned in a massive true sophomore season in 2021: 95 catches, 1,606 yards, and 9 TDs.That season is even more impressive when you consider that it came alongside a pair of 2022 first-round picks in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. Smith-Njigba easily beat both Wilson and Olave in catches and yards, as well as yards per route run and Pro Football Focus receiving grade.In fact, Smith-Njigba led all 199 WRs in the country with 40+ targets in both yards per route and PFF grade in 2021.Smith-Njigba was a five-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class after totaling an insane 201 catches, 3,922 yards, and 55 TDs in his final TWO high school seasons.He checked into the Combine at 6’1, 196 pounds and registered elite marks in the agility drills: a 96th percentile 3-cone time and 97th percentile short shuttle. Smith-Njigba didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the Combine but recorded a 4.48-second time at his Pro Day.The Seahawks made him the 20th overall pick and the first WR off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
What to Expect in 2023Smith-Njibga joins a Seahawks WR corps with a couple of high-end talents in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Metcalf has finished as a top-25 WR in PPR points per game in three straight seasons. Lockett has done it in five straight.But Smith-Njigba is a heavy favorite to win the No. 3 WR job right out of the gate. His competition: Dee Eskridge, Dareke Young, Cody Thompson, Cade Johnson.OC Shane Waldron and QB Geno Smith both return for the 2023 season.The 2022 Seahawks ranked:15th in pass attempts12th in pass ratefifth in situation-neutral pass rateeighth in Pass Rate Over ExpectedBehind Lockett and Metcalf, Seattle’s other WRs combined for just 75 targets last year. But the team’s top three TEs totaled 135 targets – a 23.6% share well above the league-wide average TE target share of around 20%.Expect Smith-Njigba to siphon a bunch of those targets this season.Prior to becoming Seahawks OC, Shane Waldron spent four seasons under Rams HC Sean McVay, whose offenses finished near the top of the league in deployment of 3-WR sets. Expect more 3-WR sets in Seattle this year, getting Smith-Njigba on the field for most passing plays.

Smith-Njigba was selected in the first round of April's draft. The Ohio State product broke out with a 95-1,606-9 receiving line (23% target share) in 2021, but injuries limited him to five catches in three games in 2022. His collegiate efficiency was excellent, as he posted one of the top marks in this rookie WR class in YPT (12.6), YPRR (3.40) and catch rate (81%) while working primarily in the short area (8.9 aDOT). Smith-Njigba is more quick than fast (he posted the best three-cone and short shuttle at April's combine) and will do his damage as a possession, slot receiver (81% slot at OSU). That makes him a perfect fit between DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle, though it will limit his short-term fantasy upside, not to mention that he may miss a week or two early in the season due to a hand injury. Stash him on your bench, as he'll be on the WR3/flex radar if one of those two misses time.

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings









2023 Fantasy Football Draft Projections

Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD
60.9 782.4 4.8

2023 Average Draft Position (ADP)



Pick 8.08



Pick 8.07



Pick 8.02



Pick 9.11

Injury Risk

Injury Risk:

Depth Chart

Strength of Schedule

Easy Season Ahead
Fantasy Playoffs