Of Course Justin Fields Would be OK with the Bears Drafting Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Long before we even began considering the possibility of the Bears picking first in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was a player on our radar.
And hearing long-time NFL star receiver and current analyst Steve Smith Sr. break down JSN’s game, I’m thinking about the fit all over again:
Don’t get me wrong. I know the Bears have a lot of needs. And I understand the concern fans might have about Smith-Njigba after an injury and an opt-out to focus on preparing for the NFL Draft kept him from putting up huge numbers in 2022. However, the Bears could use receiver help. Particularly in the form of a precise route-runner who can make plays beating opposing defensive backs. Even though Smith-Njigba isn’t a candidate to go first overall, his route-running and separation skills are what the Bears’ receivers’ room lack at the moment. And he is still a top receiver prospect in this class.
Even still … I struggle to see Chicago taking JSN. It would take some creativity, so it’s not impossible. But the plausibility is a challenge. Nevertheless, his draft stock is worth keeping an eye on. Especially after getting a co-sign from Justin Fields.
Fields, who was a teammate of Smith-Njigba’s while at Ohio State, wouldn’t mind reuniting with an old friend. In fact, Chicago’s QB1 told Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek he would “no doubt” love it if the Bears were able to use a draft pick and snag JSN. Hey, that makes two of us, Justin!
If you felt like Smith-Njigba was a player who was most often sent to the Bears in way-too-early mock drafts, just know you’re not alone. That’s because it was a thing last year. And it really hasn’t left my mind. It was easy to make the connection between the Bears and Smith-Njigba. So much so, that it happened … a bunch of times. Remember when Bears GM Ryan Poles was checking out talent at the Ohio State-Northwestern game last November in Evanston? I do. And I couldn’t help but wonder if he had eyes for one of the Buckeyes’ best pass-catchers. The receiver-needy Bears and Smith-Njigba were a fit then, and remain so at this moment. And while I don’t know if Poles can make it happen, I don’t think I’d be too upset if Fields spoke this one into existence.