Pete Carroll is usually known for being excited about defense but this time he is showing some love for the other side of the ball. With one of their two first-round picks, the team drafted wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba out of Ohio State who was the first receiver off the board. Analysts praised the pick as he seems like a perfect fit with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Carroll raved about Smith-Njigba after OTAs this week.
Pete Carroll Raves About Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Some analysts were down on Smith-Njigba because of his injury-riddled 2022 season. That seems to be in the past and Carroll had a lot to say about the rookie receiver.
“Oh, man, he’s really, really natural,” Carroll said. “He’s really a natural athlete, gifted in his timing, in and out of breaks and things and his feel. He also has, which we saw this in the workout at school, he’s got great change of direction in him, and he’s got this marvelous ability to get in out of his turns.”
Ohio State receivers are known for their precise route running and Smith-Njigba is no different. He should also have plenty of space to operate with two good receivers already on the roster. Carroll didn’t stop there.
“His hands are just as natural as can be,” Carroll said. “He’s really a bright football player too, it makes sense to him. We’ve already moved him all around, he’d been inside, outside and all kinds of stuff. And so that looks like it’s just what we were looking for.”
Can Seattle Recreate Last Year’s Magic?
Geno Smith had a career year and he was rewarded with a new contract. He has plenty of weapons to throw to and the defense should be improved this season with Devon Witherspoon joining the defensive ranks. The defensive line was also retooled and the veteran leadership of Bobby Wagner will help. In a weak NFC, this team could make some noise in the playoffs
It’s clear that Pete Carroll already loves Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Seahawks fans will also fall in love with him if he can help raise the floor of an already explosive offense.