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Seahawks jumpstart historic run on wide receivers with selection of Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Four straight wideouts is the most in the modern draft era.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Seahawks selected Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the 20th overall pick, it kicked off the much-delayed “wide receiver run” that many had predicted.

Few could have predicted that the run would be historic.

Never before in “the modern draft era” had four straight wide receivers been selected in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Until tonight.

Here’s a quick look at the four record-setting receivers:

Pick No. 20: Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Seattle Seahawks went on the clock with all of the wide receivers and all of the tight ends to choose from.

They chose the highest-rated / best player available from those two groups.

PFF’s summary of JSN from their Big Board:

Smith-Njigba missed almost the entire fall with hamstring issues but was Ohio State’s leading receiver in 2021 as a sophomore. That year, he caught 95 passes for 1,595 yards and nine scores. He provides the uncoachable route-running ability and ball skills that will always have a role in the NFL.

FTR’s take: Adding JSN to Seattle’s dynamic duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett is going to be lethal for opposing defenses. For years, the Seahawks have needed a legitimate, high-quality WR3, but as FG commenter Tyler Jorgensen put it earlier tonight, JSN is going to be WR1C. In my opinion, this is an awesome pick!

Pick No. 21: TCU WR Quentin Johnston

Next up was the Los Angeles Chargers.

As evidenced by their two starters (Keenan Allen, 6-2, and Mike Williams, 6-4), the Chargers LOVE big wideouts.

At 6-3, Quentin Johnston slots in between those two height-wise.

PFF’s summary:

Johnston is a force of nature at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He is your vertical route tree X receiver in this class. For his college career, Johnston averaged 18.8 yards per reception.

FTR’s take: The Chargers have no excuses for not leading the NFL in red zone efficiency with those three in the line-up. Just throw it up and let one of those beasts go up for the jump ball.

Pick No. 22: Boston College WR Zay Flowers

The worst (but also best) pun that I heard during the draft was something along the lines of, “Hours after giving Lamar Jackson a $260M bouquet, the Baltimore Ravens got him Flowers.”

Groan (and snicker).

PFF’s summary:

Flowers is the best pure separator in the draft class. Defensive backs won’t be able to stick with him across on his route breaks unless they’re holding him. He racked up 1,077 yards and 12 scores this past season.

FTR’s take: If we hadn’t taken JSN, I would have wanted Zay Flowers. He’s small (5-9, 182), but he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch when he gets a step on a cornerback. And he’s going to get a step on A LOT of cornerbacks.

Pick No. 23: USC WR Jordan Addison

There had been a lot of rumors/reports that the Minnesota Vikings would be taking a quarterback at No. 23, but having let Adam Thielen walk earlier this offseason, their need for a quality wideout took priority.

And it made history in the process as Addison was the record-setting fourth straight wide receiver to come off the board.

PFF Summary:

Addison was the Biletnikoff Award winner with Pittsburgh in 2021 before transferring to USC. He’s a crafty route runner with the kind of bend to run a full route tree. He caught 159 passes for 2,468 yards and 25 scores over the past two seasons.

FTR’s take: When the offseason started, I was in love with Jordan Addison, but that was only because, as a Pac-12 player, I’d seen him play more than the others. He is very, very good, but he was fourth on my list heading into tonight. It’s funny how things work out sometimes.

HISTORY WAS MADE! What a fun first round.

Go Hawks!