From a Heisman Trophy winner to a first-round draft pick, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith is on track to finish with a remarkable rookie season.
In nine games, Smith has 38 catches for 537 yards and two touchdowns, making it very likely the 22-year-old will surpass 1,000 total yards before the year is over.
Starting his collegiate career in 2017 at Alabama, Smith consistently produced season after season, sending his statistics soaring. In his freshman season, Smith finished with eight receptions for 160 yards and three touchdowns, quadrupling his yardage (693 yards) the following season.
In 2019, he led the team with 68 receptions for 1,256 yards and six touchdowns. He set career highs during his game against Ole Miss and was selected as First-Team All-SEC. Choosing to return for his senior season, Smith topped his previous stats. In 2020, he completed 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was selected for his second consecutive First-Team All-SEC, became the first wide receiver to win the AP Player of the Year since 1998, and won ten other awards, including Unanimous All-American and the Heisman Trophy.
At Alabama, Smith set more than seven receiving records before entering the 2021 NFL Draft.
WIDE RECEIVER 1
The Eagles selected Smith with the tenth overall pick. He was marked as the primary wide receiver ahead of Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Last Sunday, Smith had his breakout game against the Los Angeles Chargers. He caught five of six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. The yardage also brought his total to 537, setting a franchise record for the most receiving yards of any Eagles’ rookie wide receiver through nine weeks.
DeVonta Smith had a breakout game vs Chargers from a statistical standpoint, but really he's just continuing the same high level of route running as he's been doing all season.
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) November 9, 2021
Within the league, Pro Football Focus graded him as the highest-ranked wide receiver in Week 9 with a 92.6. He now ranks third out of 22 total rookie receivers.
Following last week’s game, Smith stated, “I feel like everybody knows that any game can be your game. You just go out there, and the ball will find who it’s supposed to find.”
For now, Smith is establishing himself as an elite route runner. He has 375 yards to go before he surpasses DeSean Jackson’s rookie receiving yards — a record that was set in 2008.