Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been counted among the top wide receiver prospects for the entirety of the current draft cycle, but he still needed to prove something at Ohio State's pro day. In doing so, he's now solidified himself as a top-three wide receiver, with the potential to be the first one of his position selected in April's NFL draft.
What did he need to do? The 21-year-old had to run the 40-yard dash.
It seems too simple of a task. Almost all of the prospects set to enter the NFL run a 40-yard dash at some point between their final season on campus and the draft itself. Usually, it occurs at the scouting combine. Some prospects wait to provide a time at their respective pro days.
The setup has been a little different for Smith-Njigba, who nursed a nasty hamstring injury throughout the 2022 campaign that limited him to only three games.
"I'm ready to go out and attack and show my skill set," Smith-Njigba told reporters at the combine. "I was 100 percent as of two weeks ago. I'm taking things slowly to close the book on this nagging injury, which I feel like I have. But I just haven't had enough reps on the 40 yet, so pro day, you'll see me run."
Prior to Wednesday's pro day, the wide receiver dazzled with his change-of-direction movements during combine testing and route-running throughout the on-field portion of the workout.
He posted the fourth-fastest time ever (3.93 seconds) among wide receivers in the short shuttle. His 6.57-second three-cone effort is the best of any target in the last five years. His short-area quickness is elite, and it shows up on film.