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Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba '100%' healthy at NFL combine

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) will participate in all drills, except the 40-yard dash, at the 2023 NFL scouting combine. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) will participate in all drills, except the 40-yard dash, at the 2023 NFL scouting combine. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

March 3 (UPI) -- Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is 100% healthy and will participate in almost every drill at the 2023 NFL scouting combine, the Ohio State star said Friday in Indianapolis.

Smith-Njigba sustained a left hamstring injury Sept. 3 in the Buckeyes' season-opening win over Notre Dame. He played parts of two more games and then was sidelined.

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"I would say I was 100% as of two weeks ago," Smith-Njigba said at a news conference at the Indianapolis Convention Center. "I'm just taking things slowly so I can close the book on this nagging injury, which I feel like I have.

"But I haven't had enough reps in the 40 just yet, so pro day you'll see me [run]."

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound pass catcher totaled 95 catches for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021-22, including a 15-catch, 347-yard, three-score performance against Utah.

He was limited to five catches for 43 yards last season.

Smith-Njigba said he participated in 20 formal meetings this week with NFL teams.

"My playmaking ability is second to none in this draft," Smith-Njigba said. "I see myself as a Top 5 player, not just receiver."

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Smith-Njigba is projected as a first-round pick in most mock drafts. TCU's Quentin Johnston, Tennessee's Jalin Hyatt, Boston College's Zay Flowers, USC's Jordan Addison and North Carolina's Josh Downs are among the other top wide receiver prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class.

Hyatt logged 67 catches for 1,267 yards and 15 scores last season. Flowers totaled 78 catches for 1,077 yards and 12 scores. Johnston made 60 grabs for 1,069 yards and six scores. Downs totaled 94 catches for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns. Addison caught 59 passes for 875 yards and eight scores.

Smith-Njigba remains confident about his status in the class due to his explosive playing style and production, when healthy.

"If you throw me the ball seven to nine times, I can win you the game," Smith-Njigba said Friday. "I think that speaks for itself."

Smith-Njigba will not run the 40-yard dash, but will participate in drills with the other wide receiver prospects Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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