Thanks to a major addition via the 2023 NFL Draft, a growing belief exists that the Seattle Seahawks may now have the best receiving trio in the league.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler looked at the Seahawks’ draft and pointed out how the unexpected addition of Ohio State University’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes Seattle’s receivers an elite unit.
“I’ve talked to multiple teams who wonder if the Seahawks now have the best receiving trio in the NFL after placing Jaxon Smith-Njigba alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett,” Fowler wrote. “The Seahawks did not expect Smith-Njigba to be there at No. 20, thinking he’d go somewhere in the teens. Seattle has had an up-close look at Cooper Kupp over the years, and Smith-Njigba has a similar skill set as an elite slot receiver who can also move to the outside.”
Smith-Njigba entered the 2022 college football season as a rising star. That was based on his monster season in 2021, in which he caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns.
However, a hamstring injury during the opening game of his season instead brought a campaign worth of frustration. At the end of last season, Smith-Njigba had just five receptions for 43 yards and zero touchdowns.
Despite that setback, Smith-Njigba’s undeniable talent still made him a solid first-round candidate. In the end, it was the Seahawks who were the beneficiaries of his drop in the selection process.
The arrival of Smith-Njigba comes after the duo of Metcalf and Lockett combined for some eye-popping numbers last season. Metcalf grabbed 90 passes for 1,048 yards and six touchdowns, while Lockett added 84 catches for 1,033 yards and nine scores.
Not surprisingly, Metcalf and Lockett served as the top two targets for Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, who agreed to a lucrative contract extension a couple of months ago.
Adding Smith-Njigba to the mix could potentially reduce the overall numbers of Metcalf and Lockett. However, it seems clear that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll views the issue as a nice problem to have, one other teams would love to encounter.
It was last year that the trade of veteran quarterback Russell Wilson turned a new page for the Seahawks. It ended an era that included two consecutive Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl title in the 2013 season.
Now, the organization is looking to win on new terms. Smith-Njigba’s addition to the group will only whet the appetites of Seahawks fans who hope to see their team pass its way back to the postseason.