DeVonta Smith, the hot topic of the 2020 CFB season, and the 2020 Heisman trophy winner. Smith set the country on fire as he went for 1,856 yards, 23 touchdowns, and had three games of over 200 yards on his way to a national title. DeVonta Smith was so much fun to watch and made everybody say “Roll Tide”. Now that his magical season is over, he looks towards the 2021 NFL Draft and there are lots of questions about the transition to the pros. Can he be this good in the NFL, or was he just a one year wonder?
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 175 lbs
2019 Stats: 13 games played/ 68 receptions/1,256 receiving yards/14 receiving touchdowns/18.5 yards per catch
2020 Stats: 13 games played/ 117 receptions/1,856 receiving yards/23 receiving touchdowns/15.9 yards per catch
1.Smith is an excellent route runner and operates with great consistency in his routes. He runs most of the routes on the tree and has great breaks at the top of his routes. Not much to work on if anything in this regard. Really smooth operator who’s route tree will translate beautifully to the NFL.
2.When a ball enters DeVonta’s vicinity, you can count on him catching it. DeVonta Smith used to go catch 100 balls a day from the JUGS machine in college and that really showed on Saturdays. He’s got plucky hands and can actually high point really well for his size. No complaints in the catching department.
3.DeVonta Smith was one of the smartest players in college football last year. In Steve Sarkisian’s pro style offense, he had to make a ton of reads post snap. Things like safety alignments, and linebacker drops could change the route that Smith was running. He was so good at executing these plays and that is why he was always open. His mind was constantly moving five times fast than everyone else’s. This is a highly appealing trait to NFL teams.
1.Smith is a measly 175 lbs. This is the most common knock against him but for good reason. This dude is small and at that weight will be thrown around at the next level by any and every corner he faces. He is just too small to compete with any sort of physicality. It will take a good 25 lbs to get him where he needs to be in the NFL. Unfortunately, it looks like Smith regularly skipped leg day.
2.Due to having such a thin frame, Smith’s run after catch suffers in a big way. Defenders really just had to semi-square up a tackle and they could bring him down. He isn’t a super shifty player and he isn’t known for his jukes. He definitely had a few good RAC plays but the majority of the time, he was down where he caught it. The amount of seperation he created was usually enough for massive gains and open field ahead, but his short-mid routes were usually down where caught.
DeVonta Smith is an incredibly talented receiver and deserves to be a first round pick. If he tries to enter the league at 175 lbs, he just isn’t going to make it very far. He must add muscle and weight to his frame in order to win at the line of scrimmage against the big physical corners in the NFL. Smith is a super smooth operator, who will create seperation against even the best in the game. If he can bulk up, expect big things from #6.
Draft Projection: Early First Round
Pro Comparison: Marvin Harrison