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Monday Round-Up: Jaxon Smith-Njigba Named as 2023 Preseason Player to Watch by CBS Sports

CBS Sports analyst Josh Edwards evaluates the top must-see players to watch this preseason, with Seahawks rookie wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba making the list.

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Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, August 7 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Rookie Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba a Preseason Player to Watch

It took 23 career games at Ohio State University to make wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba a first-round selection. CBS Sports writer Josh Edwards is the latest national supporter awaiting Smith-Njigba’s rookie campaign, as he names the Buckeyes alum to his “must-see” 2023 NFL Preseason player watchlist.

Smith-Njigba propelled himself into the national spotlight in 2021, catching 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns over 13 games.

But it was Smith-Njigba’s record-breaking performance in the Buckeyes’ 48-45 Rose Bowl victory over the Utah Utes that etched his name in the history books. On 15 receptions, Smith-Njigba caught three touchdowns and gained a bowl-game record 357 yards. In addition to setting a school-record for receptions (tying his own career-high), Smith-Njigba's 357-yard outing was the fifth-highest in FBS history.

"I was actually training with one of my boys and I was watching his highlights," Smith told the NFL Network's Bridget Condon. "And I texted Pete (Carroll), 'Man we've got to draft this guy.' And we ended up getting him. I was so happy."

Smith-Njigba has been in the Pacific Northwest for just an offseason, but the potential of being paired with Smith and two 1,000-yard receivers (DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett) has plenty across the league anticipating his debut after playing just three games in 2022 due to a hamstring injury.

Edwards breaks down what Smith-Njigba brings to the table for Seattle.

Smith-Njigba has not played in a game since October of 2022 while dealing with a hamstring injury. The buzz surrounding the Texas native diminished because he was out of sight, out of mind, but the talent remains the same. Smith-Njigba is capable of putting defenders in a blender, and that opportunity should only be magnified alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. His skillset perfectly compliments what Seattle already has on the roster. While he may not be the flashiest pass-catcher, Smith-Njigba is capable of high-volume production.

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