Can Seattle get Jaxon Smith-Njigba involved?
Maybe the issue with Jaxon Smith-Njigba's non-explosiveness so far is that he is simply a rookie trying to find his way. It's not like Seattle hasn't tried to get JSN involved. He is third on the team in targets (14), rightfully behind Metcalf and Lockett. Smith-Njigba is also third on the team in catches with 9. But he is only sixth in receiving yards (57).
I'd like to think that Seattle offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is just still trying to find a way to get Smith-Njigba involved, and this might be partly true. But unlike 2021 second-round pick Dee Eskridge who seemingly is only used on jet sweeps, Smith-Njigba has been used in more traditional slot receiver routes and tried to find some open ground in the middle of the field.
I am hoping that Smith-Njigba is just an explosive play or three away from turning the proverbial corner and helping make the Seahawks receiving trio truly one of the best in the NFL, but we are a long way from that now. Smith-Njigba has caught 64.3 percent of his targets but for only 6.3 yards per catch and just two first downs. Slot receivers should be picking up first downs as a matter of process, not rarely doing so.
Still, he is only a rookie and rookie receivers have a tough time acclimating to the NFL in most cases. JSN should improve as the season goes on and should be really good by 2024. But Seattle needs him to play well now and hopefully that starts on Monday Night Football versus the New York Giants.