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Seahawks' Macdonald: Smith-Njigba to be 'massive piece' of offense

Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Seattle Seahawks plan to make wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba more of a focus in his second year.

"He's a guy that we can focus our offense around, along with other guys," head coach Mike Macdonald said earlier this week, according to ESPN's Brady Henderson. "Tyler Lockett is still a great player. DK Metcalf, phenomenal player. The runners, Noah Fant. But he's definitely going to be a massive piece of what we're trying to do offensively."

Despite fracturing his left wrist in his second preseason game last year, Smith-Njigba suited up for the team's season opener after surgery. The former Ohio State star finished the season third on the team with 63 receptions for 628 yards and four touchdowns.

Sharing the field with an impressive receiving corps that includes Metcalf and Lockett, Smith-Njigba appears to have won over the Seahawks' coaching staff.

"JSN's a great player, and (we're) expecting big things out of him," Macdonald said. "He's had a great offseason, works his tail off. His practice habits are awesome. Moving ability is pretty elite. I think we got a really cool plan for him."

The 22-year-old Smith-Njigba was one of four receivers selected in the first round of the 2023 draft.

The Texas native said he likes the challenge of lining up as an outside receiver and facing one-on-one coverage. It's unclear how new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb - who helped Washington reach the CFP Championship Game last season - will deploy Smith-Njigba.

Smith-Njigba said there's plenty of room for growth ahead of his sophomore season.

"I felt like it was a good foundation," Smith-Njigba said. "I can grow from it. A lot of growing pains, a lot of ups and downs, but kind of similar from first years of college and in high school. Kind of the same thing."

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