DeVonta Smith: 3 things to know about Eagles first-round pick in the NFL draft
First, they traded down from the sixth pick in the NFL draft to the 12th. Then, they traded back up to the 10th spot with the rival Cowboys to get their wide receiver, Alabama's DeVonta Smith, last season's Heisman Trophy winner.
Here are 3 things to know about the Eagles' newest wide receiver:
Smith played the ‘X’ receiver spot in Alabama’s offense, leading the Crimson Tide in receiving each of the last two years including a record-breaking 2020 season. He shared targets with Jerry Jeudy (Broncos), Henry Ruggs (Raiders), fellow first-round prospect Jaylen Waddle and others during his college career. Most impressive: Smith left Alabama with the most receiving yards and touchdown catches in SEC history.
So much will be made about Smith’s slight frame (6-foot, 166 pounds), but the production does not lie (235 catches, 3,965 yards, 46 touchdown catches, including 23 in 2020).
Coachable and versatile
Smith broke onto the scene as a freshman in the national title game when he caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime from Tua Tagovailoa to beat Georgia. Months later, in addition to practice reps at his usual position, Nick Saban asked Smith to take some plays at defensive back, and he obliged. Also, if there were any questions about Smith’s toughness, he excelled as a gunner on special teams during his Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.
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The nickname fits
Kevin Durant hated the “Slim Reaper” moniker, but last season the nickname fit with Smith, who struck fear in any defensive coordinator tasked with trying to stop him. He’s incredibly smooth as a route runner, finding space against any type of coverage and finishing plays consistently, and with flair. His fame skyrocketed when he became just the fourth wide receiver to win the Heisman.