Bumpus: How the Seahawks should use JSN moving forward

Dec 17, 2023, 9:50 AM

Seattle Seahawks JSN Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks hauls in a one-handed catch on Nov. 23, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It took a little bit, but first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba appears to have found his footing in the Seattle Seahawks’ offense.

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After catching just 12 passes in his first four career games, “JSN” has caught 37 over his last nine games, including a pair of touchdown passes. He’s also been someone that quarterback Geno Smith has looked to not just to pick up first downs but also in the quick game, including on screen passes.

Now that Smith-Njigba is more comfortable in Seattle’s offense, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus wants to see the Seahawks use him in a certain way moving forward.

“I really like how this young man is growing. He’s looking faster, and he’s looking more confident,” he said during an edition of Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports. “And when I see a young man looking faster and confident, that means the game is slowing down for him and he understands his role in this offense.”

“We see a lot of motion and jet sweep looks with Tyler Lockett. Stop it. JSN needs to be that guy.”

The Seahawks put the veteran Lockett in motion often during games, particularly in those jet sweep-type of looks, even if he rarely gets the ball on those plays. Bumpus thinks Smith-Njigba should be used that way instead.

“JSN is a legit threat with the football in his hand,” Bumpus said. “I love me some Tyler Lockett, but run after the catch is not what he does, right? Unless he’s over the top behind the safeties or behind the corners, he’ll get it and then he’ll take off. When it comes to jet sweeps, JSN is the real threat. So give him the football a couple of times on these jet sweeps, and then use that to your advantage.”

Bumpus thinks the Seahawks need to make Smith-Njigba the “gadget guy” on offense.

“He needs to be the screen guy, he’s going to be the option guy, he’s going to be the double pass guy, right? He’s going to be the guy that throws a wrench in everything,” he said. “So the more he gets comfortable in this league, the faster he’s playing, I’m looking at the way he moves, the way he attacks defenses, that’s his job. You let DK (Metcalf) and Tyler Lockett be the possession guys over the top, but when it comes to gadgets … (and) unconventional plays that needs to be JSN at this point in the season.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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