Top WR Prospect Praises Patriots, Mac Jones After Combine Meeting

'Mac Jones ... great quarterback'


March 3

INDIANAPOLIS — The Patriots this week showed interest in one of the top receivers available in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba on Friday said he’d met with New England at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s considered a potential Patriots target — Mel Kiper has him going to Foxboro in his latest mock draft — and might be available when New England picks at 14th overall.

“It went good, it went good,” Smith-Njigba said of the meeting.

He also praised both Bill Belichick and quarterback Mac Jones.

“Coach Belichick, he’s, you know what type of franchise program they have over there,” Smith-Njigba said. “So, it definitely would be awesome being in that system. Mac Jones, also a great arm talent. Great quarterback. Definitely would like playing there.”

If the Patriots draft Smith-Njigba, they’d be banking on evaluations of his 2021 performance, as the 2022 season was a lost campaign for the 6-foot-1, 197-pound receiver.

He appeared in just three games due to a nagging hamstring injury, catching five passes for 43 yards. Considering Smith-Njigba only caught 10 passes in seven games as a freshman in 2020, NFL teams really only have his 2021 stats (95 catches, 1,606 yards) to go on.

The Patriots also met with receiver prospects Tyler Scott and Puka Nacua at the combine, among others.

Thumbnail photo via Adam Cairns/USA TODAY Sports Images
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