Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Smith comes off the board one pick behind his Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle. DeVonta Smith is exactly what the Eagles need at wide receiver: Dependability and polish. Other receivers in the class might be bigger or faster or have higher upsides, but it’s hard to argue against DeVonta Smith coming in the league and easily catching 80 passes in his first year without breaking a sweat, which is exactly what the Eagles need.
From Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton:
The Eagles should be thrilled to see DeVonta Smith on the board for them here. He was a potential consideration before they traded down from No. 6.
Had Jaylen Waddle been on the board, choosing between the two Crimson Tide pass catchers wouldn’t have been easy. Smith is ultimately the pick, though, because there isn’t a world where the Eagles passing on the Heisman winner works out for them. Put simply, Smith is a stone cold baller. Couldn’t care less about his weight. This is a complete receiver who dominated the SEC. Coaches, teammates, and opposing players alike have raved about his skill, football IQ, and will to win. Outlier physical frame be damned, he feels like a prospect worth betting on.
The Eagles wide receiver corps is young, inexperienced and might be the most ineffectual positional group in the league. It’s no secret. The mystery is how the Eagles plan on turning that group into something respectable this offseason so the team isn’t a total disaster and Jalen Hurts has a fair shot to show something at quarterback in 2021. Drafting DeVonta Smith solves a few of those problems. Not only is he extremely dependable, but he can basically score from anywhere on the field.
He had been the primary playmaker at Alabama for two years, leading them in receiving not only in his Heisman season, but also when Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III were there. When those two got drafted in the first round in 2020, DeVonta Smith started playing all over the field and showed he can line up anywhere and make a defense’s life hell for four quarters.
The Eagles need someone with that level of versatility and dependability. None of their wide receivers are proven in any capacity, and putting a guy on the team like Smith would take some serious pressure off of Jalen Reagor and company so they can develop as role players. Meanwhile, Smith would quickly become a favorite target of Jalen Hurts and help the young passer take a step forward in year two.
DeVonta Smith’s draft stock has seemingly fallen since the end of his Heisman-winning, championship-winning 2021 season, but make no mistake that this guy is still a blue chip player, size be damned. The Eagles grabbing him at 12 would give them a legit No. 1 receiver and completely change their wide receiving corps for the better.
Top prospects remaining:
Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame