Smith-Njigba, who the Seahawks selected with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, was on the heels of featuring in Seattle’s rookie minicamp. He was limited throughout the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp schedule, as the team remained cautious with him considering that he dealt with a nagging hamstring issue earlier in the offseason. The former Ohio State standout did at the least take part in individual drills.
Over the opening week of Seattle's OTAs, Smith-Njigba spent much time building early chemistry with Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and getting more familiar with Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s playbook.
Hey look it’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba pic.twitter.com/wU7Wf4HwiL
— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) May 22, 2023
Smith-Njigba left a strong first impression on Smith.
“He's so impressive,” Smith said during a press conference at the Seahawks’ OTAs. “Very smooth route runner. Natural hands. Also, the game is not too big for him. You can see he's got that self confidence that you look for.
“He's learning; he's picking up his assignments like all the other rookies and new guys. Jaxon's been tremendous so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing him grow.”
Waldron sees that Smith-Njigba is continuing to make the most out of his early run in the Seahawks organization.
“He's done a good job just kind of blending in with the team,” Waldron said during a press conference at the Seahawks’ OTAs. “Getting used to the guys, getting used to the building and the environment here. He's done a great job with the work that he's been able to do so far.
“You see a lot of his natural talent really showcased, especially in some of the individual drills and some of the individual work. So, excited to work with him and watch him progress throughout this OTA and into training camp.”
Smith-Njigba is coming off of a formidable three-year run at Ohio State. He bolstered his NFL Draft stock during the 2021 season, where he hauled in 95 receptions for 1,606 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches for the Big Ten powerhouse. He was sidelined for much of the 2022 campaign due to a notable hamstring injury.
The Seahawks’ OTAs schedule will continue on May 30.