Bumpus: The 2 Seahawks rookies who stand out the most

Jun 12, 2023, 1:38 PM

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Seattle Seahawks rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba during minicamp on June 6, 2023. (Photo: Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

(Photo: Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

The Seattle Seahawks have been out on the practice field for much of the past month, which means there has been plenty of opportunity for members of the media to get a close look at the team’s newest players.

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When it comes to the rookies, Seattle Sports’ Michael Bumpus said there have been two that jump out to him the most, for different reasons.

As a former NFL wide receiver, it should be no surprise who Bumpus first highlighted: first-round wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

The Ohio State product comes into the league well regarded for his route running, and that checks out for Bumpus.

“Because I’m a receiver, because I can evaluate that position better than most – especially without pads on – (when) I look at him, I look at his route running,” Bumpus said Monday when he joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “Every receiver who was out there during minicamp can run routes or they wouldn’t be there, but it’s different the way he drops his hips and shifts his weight. It’s different the way he fires off the football. It’s different when he goes up and grabs the ball out of the air.

“… So I look at Jaxon Smith-Njigba and I say he’s been the most impressive (rookie).”

The other rookie catching Bumpus’ attention is doing so despite playing a position where it’s harder to stand out at this point in the year.

“I also look at Derick Hall and I cannot wait to see what he looks like with those pads on,” Bumpus said of the second-round outside linebacker.

An Auburn product, Hall is an imposing figure at 6 foot 3 and 252 pounds.

“Everything about this dude – honestly, he looks like a created player (on a video game),” Bumpus continued. “He has the attributes, and he has the hands, too, which I think are underrated. I’ve seen him do a lot of hand work, and I think especially when you’re rushing off the edge in the NFL, if you can be explosive and then use your hands the way that Aaron Donald does – which is a huge ask, of course – you’re gonna have success, man.”

Bumpus filled in Monday for Brock Huard on Blue 88, a segment featuring three football questions that airs at 7:45 a.m. each day on Brock and Salk. You can listen to Monday’s edition in the podcast below. You can also hear Bumpus, who is a Pac-12 Network analyst and host of Seahawks Radio Network pregame, halftime and postgame shows, answer four football questions at 11:15 a.m. daily during the Four-Down Territory segment of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

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