3 Seattle Seahawks players who must unlock their potential in 2024

Seattle should be more successful in 2024 simply by having better schemes that better use these players.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks
Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks / Jeff Schear/GettyImages
2 of 3

Jaxon Smith-Njigba - Seahawks wide receiver

Seattle has one of the best wide receiver trios in the league, but that is only true if JSN's production improves in 2024. Otherwise, being a top-ranked trio is only a theory. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are definitely one of the best duos, but their efficiency will increase with Smith-Njigba being better used and given more versatility in his routes from the beginning of the season.

What made Smith-Njigba's rookie season odd was that prior to his wrist injury in the preseason, he was running all manner of routes, from deep crossers to quick outs. After returning from injury, former offensive coordinator Shane Waldron apparently thought all JSN could do was run shorter routes - through the first four games, JSN had 12 catches but for only 62 yards. JSN's wrist had been hurt, not his legs, so Waldron's failure to use Smith-Njigba properly limited the offense.

This improved a bit more as the season wore on, but there was no need to limit JSN in the first place. His raw numbers finished by looking fairly pedestrian: 63 catches for 628 yards, or about 10 yards a catch. Those were probably due to the lack of consistent creativity from Waldron that the offense could have used.

Waldron is now gone, and he has been replaced by Ryan Grubb. Grubb has never coached in the NFL, but he ran a pro-style offense while at the University of Washington and that system should transpose easily to the professional level. One key of his offense was that receivers found a way to be open deep and this scheme is going to work extremely well for JSN.

Smith-Njigba has the quickness and catch ability to get closer to 80 receptions and over 900 yards. Many of his catches might be quick hitters, but he should catch a lot more passes - or at least have the opportunity - to catch passes deep down the field under the direction of Grubb.