Following the NFL Draft Combine from Thursday-Sunday, one wide receiver did a lot to bolster his stock: Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
The Patriots have a few positional needs, and chief among them is WR. Though some of the big name WRs didn’t measure out well, Zay Flowers and Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a strong showing. Mike Kadlick and Alex Barth of Patriots Beat broke down if Smith-Njigba is the pick, and how other day two and three WRs tested.
“He looks like the second best receiver in this class,” said Kadlick. “If JSN is there at 14, I’m now taking him.”
He didn’t run the 40-yard dash, but he impressed on the agility drills, and is a shifty player that would be a perfect fit on most teams — maybe to the disadvantage of the Patriots.
“I don’t think he’s going to be there,” said Barth. “I see too many spots where it makes sense for him to go. The Eagles make a ton of sense, the Titans are in a spot where they need a wide receiver, and the Texans at 12.”
If Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers — who will likely be WR1 — are taken before the 14th pick, this could still benefit the Patriots.
“Receivers testing poorly,” said Barth, talking about Quentin Johnston and Jordan Addison, “is going to help their draft stock. Now you’re going to get this thing where it isn’t a deep wide receiver draft, and teams are going to panic and move up and overdraft. That may help the Patriots. If they’re coming up to take receivers, it’s going to push some tackles down the board.”
The Patriots will have a lot to mull over between now and day one of the NFL Draft.