Seahawks Training Camp: What to expect from the top 2 rookies

Jul 24, 2023, 11:04 AM | Updated: 11:31 am

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)

For the first time in recent memory, the Seattle Seahawks are going into a season with a pair of first-round rookies.

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There is a lot of excitement about those two players – cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who was selected No. 5 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who was No. 20 – as each were seen as perhaps the top player at their position in the draft class. Both are coming off of hamstring issues, however, and the Seahawks were understandably careful with the pair during offseason training activities and minicamp.

With Seahawks training camp beginning at team headquarters in Renton on Wednesday, what should be expected out of Seattle’s top two draft picks?

FOX football analyst and former NFL quarterback Brock Huard shared his thoughts Monday during the Blue 88 segment of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“I expect them to pass their physical,” Huard said. “… I expect both of them to pass with flying colors and both of them to be full-speed. I don’t think there’s going to be any holding back. There’s just frankly now not enough time.”

Huard thinks this week will be quite different for Witherspoon and Smith-Njigba compared to their previous sessions with their new team. A big reason is he expects they will see time working with the No. 1 players on Seattle’s depth chart.

“Unlike OTAs and unlike the minicamp where they were very guarded, where those guys did not do a lot of the team (workouts) or did limited reps – and both of them I think with hamstrings, certainly Jaxon’s hamstring still wanting to get right now – those guys are going to hit the ground running. And they’re going to be right there with the ‘ones.’ Jaxon will be in that No. 1 huddle from the jump. Devon’s going to push and push, and he and (cornerback) Michael Jackson are going to go after it for that starting spot opposite of Tariq (Woolen). But both of those guys should be full-speed and not have the guardrails they had in the offseason.”

Listen to the full Blue 88 segment in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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