NFC Notes: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks


Cardinals HC Jonathan Gannon had a short quote when asked about first-round WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and it seems clear that he is impressed so far by the former Ohio State standout. 

“My expectation for him, he meets and exceeds it thus far,” Gannon said, via the team’s website.

  • Gannon touched on Harrison Jr. being the first in the receiver line, despite a veteran or star usually going first: “How we handle everybody’s a little bit different, you know what I mean? Just depending on all the variables that you have to make the decision. So, he’s done a really good job from the start of OTAs when he got here to where he is now.” (ESPN
  • In a behind-the-scenes look at the Cardinals’ Draft Day process, video showed GM Monti Ossenfort offering to acquire the No. 24 overall pick from the Cowboys in exchange for the No. 27 and No. 104 overall picks. However, Dallas wound up trading the pick to the Lions. 


Rams ST coordinator Chase Blackburn said RB Boston Scott has done well as a return specialist and thinks he adds a “great veteran presence” to their special teams unit. 

“He’s done a really nice job. He’s done both punt return and kick return,” Blackburn said, via RamsWire. “Awesome to have him here. Great veteran presence, really taking a leadership role even immediately in the punt team playing… Had him move around from wing to protector making the calls going back and forth even today as you guys, if you guys saw that here today. And then obviously from a dual returner perspective, just a great guy, great human, awesome teammate and really showing the way right now.”

As for the NFL’s new kickoff rule, Blackburn said they could field two returners and expects most of the league to take that approach. 

“So really, you’ve got 30 yards between the 20-yard line and the back of the end zone and 53 yards across that you have to be able to cover,” Blackburn said. “I don’t see very many guys that can cover that much space if it’s just a single guy in the middle of the field. So I said a lot of words there. I think you’ll see most teams will go with two. I maybe there’ll be a couple guys in the preseason that try one, see what they can get away with blocking scheme wise. But I really truly believe that two returners will be what you see most likely.”


Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba had an up-and-down rookie season as he struggled to carve out a consistent role alongside WRs D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. New Seattle HC Mike Macdonald loves Smith-Njigba and touched on their high expectations for him in 2024. 

“JSN’s a great player and [we’re] expecting big things out of him,” Macdonald said, via ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “He’s had a great offseason, works his tail off. His practice habits are awesome. Moving ability is pretty elite. I think we got a really cool plan for him.”

“He’s just a hard cover, man. He can play outside, inside, and Grubb does a great job of kind of moving guys around and finding some matchups. His lower body power and flexibility and being able to accelerate and obviously just having great hands and being able to track the ball is pretty impressive.”

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply