Jaxon Smith-Njigba tipped to break out in 2024 for all the wrong reasons

The Seattle Seahawks might see Smith-Njigba break out in 2024, but not for the reasons one NFL analyst has suggested.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks
Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Jaxon Smith-Njigba will likely be a fan favorite with the Seattle Seahawks for many years into the future. His production, unless there is a bad injury, should continue to increase. This is especially true whenever Tyler Lockett decides to retire or, for some other reason, is no longer with the team. JSN will see a lot more targets once that happens.

The wide receiver also has a naturally effervescent personality. He appears laid-back with a wry sense of humor but not aggressively confrontational. His attitude does not exactly scream "Alpha!" but that doesn't mean he won't be. He should have more than enough confidence in himself to know how great of a player he can be.

A recent article from FanSided's Fantasy CPR does have JSN among five receivers who aren't rookies who are ready to break out in 2024. Obviously, let's hope this happens because a more efficient Smith-Njigba means less pressure on DK Metcalf and Lockett to try to be great every second the offense has the ball. A more productive Smith-Njigba should help Metcalf and Lockett see more single-man coverage.

Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba might have more yards in 2024 with not many more targets

The issue with Fantasy CPR is that they think JSN could break out based on a long-held falsehood about the Seahawks and, specifically, Pete Carroll. Carroll, of course, is no longer coaching the team so many assume the offense will change and that Seattle will pass more. The truth is that under former offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Seattle threw the ball too much.

The belief that Carroll liked to have a run-heavy offense is simply a matter of if someone says something enough then it becomes the truth. In reality, the Seahawks passed the ball on 61.6 percent of downs in 2023, the sixth-highest percentage in the NFL. That means Seattle, again based on play-call percentage, ran the ball the sixth-least in the league.

Seattle wasted good running backs Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet. Should they have been handed the ball more, Seattle's offense likely would have been more efficient. This is especially the case because, according to Pro Football Reference (subscription required), the Seahawks had the 15th-best run-block efficiency last year. Running the ball would have been better.

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JSN might see fewer targets because the offense might throw the ball less. New OC Ryan Grubb - Fantasy CPR incorrectly had the OC listed as "Ben Grubb" - will use all the offensive weapons at his disposal, not only the wide receivers.

Fantasy CPR is absolutely correct, though, in terms of how Smith-Njigba is used. His average depth per target was only 6.1 yards as early in the season, Waldron seemed fearful of sending the receiver down the field. Grubb will not have such concerns. JSN might produce more yards and hopefully more touchdowns in 2024 even though he might not see much, if any, increase in his number of targets.

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