The Seattle Seahawks had the day off from training camp yesterday, but things will definitely begin to ramp up on Thursday. The team is now practicing in pads and has a mock game at Lumen Field on Friday. Next week will be Seattle's first preseason game of 2023.
Basically, while the team is just now in pads, we have learned a lot about what Seattle might be thinking heading into the regular season. Some players are standing out as expected, while some others appear even better than thought. And there are several starting spots still up for grabs.
Seattle is dealing with running back injuries already, though. That's been a jinxed position group in recent seasons and 2023 seems no different. But here are some observations from training camp one week before preseason game 1 against the Minnesota Vikings on August 10th.
Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the real deal
There could have been doubts about Smith-Njigba even after Seattle chose him number 20 overall in the 2023 NFL draft. He didn't play much at all in his final season in college due to a hamstring injury and teams might have been scared off that he might be a constant injury risk. But Seattle chose him because he can help the team now, but he likely will also be the replacement for Tyler Lockett one day soon, too.
Thankfully, Smith-Njigba has not just looked like a solid pick from what he has done in training camp, he appears to be one of the better players on the team. He glides smoothly in the secondary, he makes nearly every possible catch look easy, and he seems even faster and slightly bigger than thought. He doesn't look like a WR3, though. He seems much more like a WR2, at least.
If Smith-Njigba translates his training camp production (and that from his 2021 season at Ohio State) into the real games of 2023, he is going to transform the offense and allow DK Metcalf to likely have a huge season. Seattle's 2022 offense was good, but with Smith-Njigba the unit should be among the ten best in the league this season.