You don’t stick around the NFL for a decade as a quarterback of any caliber without having strong leadership skills.
In a video shared on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, by the NFL on Tuesday from the Week 3 clash against Carolina, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith demonstrated that leadership.
Rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba seemed upset on the sideline after Smith targeted him on an interception in the second quarter against the Panthers.
Smith-Njigba hasn’t had the impact he’d likely hoped in his first taste of NFL action, catching nine balls for just 57 yards without a touchdown so far. These numbers are a far cry from the stats he put up in his Ohio State career, but Seattle fans should be patient with “JSN.”
For one he’s competing for touches with wily veteran Tyler Lockett and the freakishly talented D.K. Metcalf, both of whom recorded over 1,000 yards in 2022. The Seahawks also have a young stud running back in Kenneth Walker III, who has 47 carries through three games so far this season.
He also has encouraging numbers under the surface.
Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Smith-Njigba is third amongst rookies and 11th in the NFL in average yards of separation through three weeks, averaging 4.2 yards of separation on his routes through three weeks.
He’s also third in the NFL in expected yards after catch (a stat based data such as receiver speed, field position, etc.).
In short, while he isn’t putting up traditional numbers just yet, he is demonstrating elite route running and ability to get open. Should an injury occur to Lockett or Metcalf, expect the Ohio State product to come into his own.