Devonta Smith Draft Profile
Devonta Smith is the most well rounded receiver to come out of college football in 2021. After winning the Heisman Trophy in his final year at Alabama, Smith is now slated to be a top pick in the NFL draft. Playing at Alabama allowed Smith to go against top competition in both practice and games, and it truly brought the best out of him. As a senior, Smith had over 1,800 receiving yards and 25 total touchdowns. Despite being named MVP of the national champion game, AP College football player of the year, 2x first team all SEC, and basically every award a college football player can get, Smith is remarkably humble. He’s not a super flashy player and he wrote handwritten letters to his professors at Alabama thanking them. His nickname is the slim reaper because he’s long and skinny, yet he absolutely kills defenders. Smith is an anomaly of an athlete and will be drafted very high this year.
Devonta Smith can do anything that his coach asks of him. He is going to be a number one receiver from day one and should be one of the best receivers in the NFL in a few years. Everything he does just looks so smooth and effortless. The way he plays is like poetry in motion. It’s not often that a receivers intelligence stands out on film, but everything is so calculated when it comes to Devonta Smith. He knows what angle to take, which move off the line he should do, how fast he should run. All of it equates into him gaining separation and getting open downfield. Smith has remarkable hands, his catch radius is greater than any receiver in the draft and everything just looks so natural for him. Near the sideline, Smith’s body control is sensational. He looks like Tony Toe-Tap because he always knows where he is on the field. His combination of route running, body control, and ability to make contested grabs results in lots of viral highlights. After the catch, Smith isn’t going to run anyone over, but his speed allows him to burst into open space. Smith is a quiet killer and will be successful in the league for a long, long time.
There aren’t really any flaws to Smith’s game. One of his biggest knocks is that he’s skinny. Despite being 6’1 he is only 174 lbs., but he is still super aggressive and has shown that he can take hits. After the catch he isn’t super physical, but that is simply just not his game. Devonta Smith should be the number one receiver on practically everybody’s board.
As I mentioned earlier, Devonta Smith is an anomaly. A player with his skillset is extremely rare and the only player who I could find a modern day comparison to is Deandre Hopkins. Hopkins is stronger than Smith, but they have a similar catch radius, speed, and route running ability. Smith might actually be a little more versatile than Hopkins because he can be used on special teams. He won the Paul Hornung award for being the most versatile player in college football and his willingness to do anything will make him a coaches favorite. I don’t see Smith falling past the Eagles at 6, he’ll most likely be the first receiver taken in this year’s draft. He should be the top target for the Eagles, Dolphins, and Giants.
Route Running 9/10
Yards After Catch 9/10
Contested Grabs 8/8
Releases/ Top of Route 8/8
Catch Radius 8/8
Final Rating: 94
Pro Comparison: Deandre Hopkins
Team Fits: Eagles, Dolphins, Giants
Draft Ranking: Top 10 Player
Draft Projection: Top 6 pick