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Seahawks are expecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba to take a big jump this season

Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba did enough last season as a rookie to excite the Seahawks about his future. Add in what he did this offseason and new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald is singing Smith-Njigba’s praises.

Macdonald calls Smith-Njigba a “massive piece” of the team’s offense.

JSN’s a great player and [we’re] expecting big things out of him,” Macdonald said, via Brady Henderson of ESPN. “He’s had a great offseason, works his tail off. His practice habits are awesome. Moving ability is pretty elite. I think we got a really cool plan for him.”

Smith-Njigba made 63 receptions for 628 yards and four touchdowns in 2023 after the Seahawks made him a first-round pick.

“I felt like it was a good foundation,” Smith-Njigba said. “I can grow from it. A lot of growing pains, a lot of ups and downs, but kind of similar from first years of college and in high school. Kind of the same thing.”

In his sophomore season at Rockwall (Texas) High School, Smith-Njigba made 83 receptions for 1,328 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games. In his second year at Ohio State, Smith-Njigba caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns.

“He’s just a hard cover, man,” Macdonald said. “He can play outside, inside, and [offensive coordinator Ryan] Grubb does a great job of kind of moving guys around and finding some matchups. His lower body power and flexibility and being able to accelerate and obviously just having great hands and being able to track the ball is pretty impressive.”

Smith-Njigba lined up out wide on 38 of his 63 catches in 2023, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Grubb could move him around more this season.

The Seahawks have the same big names back from last season in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Noah Fant and Kenneth Walker. But it’s a big jump from Smith-Njigba in Grubb’s offense that could take the team’s offense to new heights.