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Thursday Roundup: Jaxon Smith-Njigba Is 'Really Coming To Life,' Just When The Seahawks Need It

Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic dives into rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s growth through the season so far. 


Good afternoon, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today —Thursday, December 28 — about your Seattle Seahawks. 

With two game-winning touchdowns under his belt, and the Seahawks go-to receiver on third-down plays, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is coming into his own.

Smith-Njigba was drafted to be the team's No. 3 receiver, but what makes him so valuable as Seattle tries to climb out of the hole it dug itself with a four-game losing streak is the fact that on the most important down of the game, he can be a No. 1 option. He leads the team in targets, catches and yards on third down. He's second to Lockett with 14 catches that produced a first down.

Having faith in Smith-Njigba is a notable schematic development for a Seahawks team that so often has to deal with opponents double-teaming Metcalf and structuring their coverage to limit Lockett's explosives. Being able to take advantage of that attention and scheme plays for Smith-Njigba is something Seattle has been able to do in its last two wins, and something the team must keep doing if it wants to get in the playoffs and make noise.

"He's getting better every single week," Geno Smith said. "I love the way that he's preparing in practice. He's working extremely hard in practice. He's getting better every single day in practice. He's really getting more comfortable in the offense, just learning his assignments, the routes, the depths, all the things that we talked about him being great at. Obviously, he's a natural receiver when it comes to catching the football and making plays.

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