Ohio State football wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba paid his respects to the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick at the NFL draft combine after he met with the team, NESN.com New England Patriots beat reporter Dakota Randall wrote in a Friday article.

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

Jaxon Smith-Njigba entered the top five of NGS athleticism scores after recording a 3.93-second short shuttle drill on Saturday. It was the quickest time since Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks pulled off a 3.81 time in 2014. TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston earned the highest athleticism score with a 96, placing seven points higher than Smith-Njigba, Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt and Arkansas’s Matt Landers.

Smith-Njigba also posted a 6.57 time for the 3-cone drill. He did not record a time for the 40-yard dash.

The junior wide receiver also had a bold message at the 2023 NFL Draft Combine.

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“I just think my playmaking ability is second to none in this draft,” said Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

He led Ohio State football’s receiving core with 1,606 receiving yards in 2021 but suffered a hamstring injury in a Week 1 matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2022. The 6-foot-1-inch receiver appeared in three games this season after another setback in Week 3 against the Toledo Rockets caused him to sit another four games.

Belichick and the Patriots hired offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in early February.

“I think he was an excellent choice,” Kraft told a group of local reporters in Arizona covering the Super Bowl. “And he has a learning-curve experience of our system.

“He knows how to build a great offense. And I’m excited to see what happens next year.”