Now that our heartbeats are back to a normal level, we finally know who Philadelphia’s newest first-rounder is. Having traded their #12 pick and #84 pick to the Dallas Cowboys for the #10 pick, the Eagles took wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner.
With this selection, the Eagles finally have a true potential #1 receiver. The 6’0″, 170 pound receiver, affectionally named “Slim Reaper” by his teammates, dominated at Bama. Over the past two seasons, Smith had a combined 37 touchdowns (23 in 2020) and 3112 yards.
What Will Smith Be Bringing To The Table?
Smith still has a ton of untapped potential, as outlined by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
“…He possesses an elite skill level for the position and can hit the defense from short, mid-range or deep. Smith has quietly been the most complete of the receivers at Alabama over the last two seasons and will give an NFL team the ability to mismatch him against the weak links either inside or outside in coverage. He’s a detailed route runner with the athletic ability to really make them count, from a separation standpoint, and his ball skills are unquestioned. Smith has the football character, athletic gifts and upper-echelon skill level to become a long-time starter and Pro Bowl regular.”
Among Smith’s strengths listed by NFL.com include being effective either outside or in the slot, possessing unpredictable route tempo, and having a “natural hand catching” ability.
It’s also a bonus that Smith already has a well-established repertoire with current Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts. The two played together at Alabama during 2017, and Smith said before the draft he was already preparing for a potential reunion.
Any Concerns For Smith?
However, is aforementioned weight is a bit of a concern. Smith brushed it off, saying that “they’re football players, not body builders.” But you have to wonder how his durability will be affecting, and how he’ll do playing against bigger secondary players.
Regardless of his criticisms, this is a fantastic pick. Rumors swirled around all day, and there were points in the draft where it looked like the Eagles would lose out on a lot of players and have to trade back. Ultimately, the Birds were able to get a guy who should bring a his talent to a team that desperately needed star potential.