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Why the Saints should trade up and draft WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Saints should trade up for this playmaker.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Iowa at Ohio State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Canal Street Chronicles recently ran a poll on Twitter asking fans what they wanted to see the team do with their first-round selection. Only 17.5% of fans wanted the team to trade up from pick 29 and it is understandable, considering the team would have a top-ten pick if they didn’t trade their pick last year. However, fans need to remember the team wouldn’t have Chris Olave if they didn’t trade up. I believe the team should trade up and take Olave’s Ohio State teammate WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Besides the fact that it would be awesome to see two college teammates reunite, drafting Smith-Njigba makes a lot of sense. The 21-year-old is exuding talent. He’s an incredible playmaker that has a ton of after-the-catch ability, which allows him to rack up yards, leading to his outstanding 2021 campaign.

The wideout had 95 receptions, 1606 receiving yards, and 9 TDs in 2021. He also dominated in the Rose Bowl with 347 receiving yards, an FBS bowl game record.

One of my favorite traits about Smith-Njigba is his ability to create separation. Throughout my film study on Smith-Njigba, he was constantly open. He has a great understanding of opposing defenders, allowing him to take advantage of their weaknesses.

His impeccable footwork also allows him to make nice and crisp cuts. These cuts make defenders constantly bite, leading to a wide-open JSN. He’s a very crafty player and has all the potential in the world.

Smith-Ngiba also possesses the ability to work back to the QB. There were plenty of times on film where the pocket broke down, and he worked back to the QB, giving him an open target.

There are only a few downsides to the Ohio State product. The first one is that he’s really only played slot WR at the collegiate level. However, this is fine for the Saints since they already have two exceptional wideouts that don’t need to work out of the slot.

The next two negatives are his size and top-end speed. At 6’1” and 196 lbs, there’s a lot to be desired from his frame. He also lacks the top-end speed you might see from other receivers in the league. This could hurt him in the NFL, where CBs are much more athletic than in college.

Overall, there is a ton to like about Smith-Njigba, and the New Orleans Saints would benefit greatly from his services. They could be set up for years to come at the WR position.

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