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Former Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson Praises 'Cold Blooded' Jaxon Smith-Njigba Ahead of NFL Draft

According to Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is already his WR1 entering the draft.

One could argue that former Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson is the best pass-catcher to come through Columbus in the Ryan Day era. The one person would disagree? 

Wilson himself. 

Wilson doubled down on his opinion that junior Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the best receiver in Ohio State's locker room last season. Smith-Njigba finished with better production than both Wilson and Chris Olave, both of whom were first-round picks in last year's draft. 

While the college game will leave a legacy, the NFL is where the money comes in. During an interview with YahooSports, Wilson said that JSN will get paid the big bucks one day. Usually, the higher one is drafted, the more one makes. 

Wilson said there's no denying who should be the first receiver selected come Apr. 27 in Kansas City, Mo. 

"If he's not, there's a problem, I promise," Wilson said.

Smith-Njigba thanked Wilson for the kind words on social media later that afternoon, knowing that both he and Olave made him a more dynamic playmaker and forced him to up his play. 

The Buckeyes failed to make the College Football Playoff in 2021, but JSN made headlines for his route-running and ability to win after the catch. Smith-Njigba set the school's single-season records in receptions (95) and receiving yards (1,606). He also set the single-game record with a 15-reception, 347-yard performance in the Rose Bowl against Utah. 

Smith-Njigba was expected to be the focal point of the passing game following Wilson and Olave's departures, but a hamstring injury limited him to just three games. He played sporadically against Toledo and Iowa, primarily seeing action in the season-opening win over Notre Dame. 

Prior to Ohio State's College Football Playoff matchup against Georgia in the Peach Bowl, Smith-Njigba announced that he would not play in the postseason and begin preparing for the upcoming draft. JSN finished with just five catches for 43 yards. 

Wilson, who became the first New York Jets receiver since Brandon Marshall in 2015 to total over 1,000 yards in the regular season, said that JSN has yet to hit his full potential at the position and only gave Buckeyes fans a preview of his skills.

"Jaxon is a cold-blooded man, man," Wilson said. "That boy is, we call him 'The Natural.' He's got hands, he's got feet that will throw you by, make you miss. He'll do the laundry for you. Jaxon's cold, man. I'm confident that wherever he goes, he's going to make a big impact early."

Smith-Njigba is currently projected to be a first-round pick in the draft, but the location has fluctuated depending on the mock. In the latest mock draft from ESPN, JSN is the second receiver taken behind USC's Jordan Addison, selected by the Seattle Seahawks at No. 20

However, on the latest mock draft by CBS Sports, Smith-Njigba is the fourth receiver taken behind Addison, TCU's Quentin Johnston and Tennessee's Jalin Hyatt, selected by the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23. 

Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline tweeted a similar sentiment as Wilson in favor of Smith-Njigba. 

Smith-Njigba, along with seven other Buckeyes, will have a chance to showcase their skills at the NFL Combine beginning Feb. 28. 

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