April 19, 2023   3 MIN READ

‘Separation Generator’

The Intel With Greg Cosell: Smith-Njigba Headlines Versatile WR Class


Finding a No. 3 wide receiver to complement A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith remains a big need for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Luckily, the 2023 NFL draft is filled with wideouts who can play a complementary role.

On the latest “The Intel With Greg Cosell” podcast, Cosell joined ITB hosts Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher to evaluate the 2023 wide receiver draft class.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is considered a consensus top wideout prospect in the 2023 NFL draft

Quentin Johnston

Greg Cosell: “Because he’s 6-3 and has stride length, I think he is best as a movement-route runner – meaning vertical, post, over routes, shallow and intermediate crossers where his stride length and play speed could generate separation. The question is: Can he develop into a complete receiver who can be a factor at all three levels on a consistent basis?”

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Cosell: “To use a term I heard from someone last year, he is a separation generator. This guy is really quick in a short area and knows how to run routes. He is smooth, refined, has a natural feel for the pace and tempo of different routes, the nuance to change speed within the route, he knows how to find voids in zone, he can win versus man.”

Jordan Addison

Cosell: “He’s a little guy but he plays bigger. He really was aggressive attacking the ball in the air, made tough, aggressive catches, he held on to the ball when he got hit. He’s another guy who is a really good route runner. I wouldn’t call him a true vertical burner, but he understands how to use leverage and win to create vertical separation.”

Zay Flowers

Cosell: “This guy can line up anywhere. He is vertical, runs after catch, can run away from people, separate, defeat press, has accelerating speed. You can run the jet sweep stuff with him. You want to get this guy the ball when he is on the move.”

Jonathan Mingo

Cosell: “I think he is one of the most fascinating receiver prospects in this draft. He has size, stride length, physical strength, competitive strength. He can line up anywhere, but certainly can be a Boundary X. Because they ran the ball so much, this guy blocked and relished it. There is a physical prescience to his game that really stands out. Not an apples-to-apples comparison, but watching him, I thought of A.J. Brown.”

Xavier Hutchinson

Cosell: “He catches everything. He is not a vertical receiver, but he has excellent size, can line up inside or outside, can work short or intermediate, has a really refined, nuanced, feel for route running, has great route quickness, understands different routes based on tempo, and has a diversified release package to attack and defeat press [coverage].”

– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

Listen to the latest “The Intel With Greg Cosell” podcast also featuring Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher:

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