NFL Draft: OSU’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba picked by Seattle Seahawks in first round

Jaxon Smith-Njigba became Ohio State’s third first-round pick of the 2023 NFL Draft when the Seattle Seahawks chose him with the No. 20 pick.

Smith-Njigba is Ohio State’s third receiver taken in the first round in the past two years.

Chris Olave (Saints) and Garrett Wilson (Jets) snapped a 14-year first round receiver drought for the Buckeyes last year.

Ohio State has had 11 receivers drafted since 2015 and is averaging 1.0 per year since 2001.

A year ago, Smith-Njigba was being talked about as a very early pick in the first round, but his junior season was wrecked by a hamstring injury.

He played in only three games and caught five passes for 43 yards last season after smashing Ohio State’s single-season record for catches (95) and receiving yards (1,606) in 2021.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in March, Smith-Njigba said he was back to full health, and he impressed in on-field drills.

He is the eighth Ohio State player drafted by the Seahawks, who also used first round picks on receiver Joey Galloway in 1995 and cornerback Shawn Springs in 1997.

The others are defensive back Ray Jackson (1988), offensive linemen Rob Sims (2006) and Jamarco Jones (’18), tight end Nick Vannett (’16) and defensive end Tyreke Smith (’22).

Earlier in the evening, the Houston Texans chose quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick, and the Arizona Cardinals picked offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. with the No. 6 pick.

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