After a dominant Rose Bowl performance, NFL teams will be wishing they could pick these two Buckeyes in the 2022 NFL draft
Sure, the 2022 NFL draft will have plenty of talented pass-catchers for 32 teams to pick.
There are even a couple from Ohio State, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who could both be first-round picks.
But after watching the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, those teams will be wishing they could spend a top pick on Jaxon Smith-Njigba instead.
In a shootout for the ages, the Buckeyes matched Utah touchdown for touchdown all night long, and Smith-Njigba was the main event. In an epic 48-45 victory, he racked up 15 receptions for a bowl-record for 347 yards and three touchdowns, averaging over 23 yards per catch.
Much like his aforementioned teammates, Smith-Njigba is a polished receiver with impressive route-running ability, reliable hands, and the technique of a seasoned pro. Unlike Wilson and Olave, Smith-Njigba is a true sophomore, and won’t be draft eligible until after the 2022 season.
Any of those teams should be thrilled to add Wilson or Olave in this year’s draft, but if they can’t, waiting a year for Smith-Njigba wouldn’t be a terrible draft strategy.
Unlike the wide receiver position, this year’s quarterback class doesn’t have much to write home about. There’s certainly not a prospect worth considering at the No. 1 overall pick.
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud proved Saturday night that he would easily take that spot were he draft eligible.
Stroud completed 37 of his 46 pass attempts for 573 yards and six touchdown passes, with just one interception. He did it all without Wilson or Olave, both of whom opted out of the Rose Bowl in order to begin their draft preparations.
A big, athletic passer with tons of poise and limitless potential, Stroud has all the physical and mental tools NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback. Along with Alabama’s Bryce Young, Stroud should give NFL teams plenty to get excited about at the top of the 2023 draft.