There is no singular better fit in this draft that makes more sense than the Chicago Bears trading down and drafting Jaxon Smith-Njigba and reuniting him with Justin Fields this offseason. Smith-Njigba makes sense because of his super high ceiling and how much the Bears need a player with his skill set. Not to mention, he was a college teammate of Justin Fields at Ohio State.
The value I see in this move is not your stereotypical “pair your college superstar QB with his college superstar WR” argument. The move for Smith-Njigba makes sense for the Chicago Bears on every single level of what you can possibly think of when you think about drafting a player.
Drafting Smith-Njigba would mean a trade-down is in order because the Chicago Bears now hold the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
How good of a player is Jaxon Smith-Njigba?
Smith-Njigba was regarded as a player that was bound to be drafted top ten before the season, so you are getting great value on buying low on a guy who had a hamstring issue. Smith-Njigba as a sophomore outperformed Garrett Wilson who was a junior, and Chris Olave who was a senior in their 2021 season together all at Ohio State. Wilson and Olave both moved on to the NFL after 2021 and are now headlining the Offensive Rookie of the Year race as the two main candidates to receive the award. All of this just a year after Smith-Njigba outproduced them both.
There is no telling where JSN (Jaxon Smith-Njigba) would be drafted if his junior season wasn’t taken away from him on a freaky accident that hurt his hamstring. All I know for sure is that taking a risk on a guy who out-produced two very good NFL receivers while all on the same team, is a risk I am willing to take — especially in the middle of the first round.