The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the DeVonta Smith 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
DeVonta Smith Background
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds
2020: 117 receptions, 1,856 receiving yards, 23 touchdowns, 15.9 yards per catch
Smith had a career that movies are made of during his time at Alabama. After four great seasons in Tuscaloosa, the wide receiver has entered the 2021 NFL Draft.
Out of high school, Smith was a five-star receiver out of Louisiana who decided to sign on with a bunch of other talented players at his position at Alabama. As a freshman, Smith played in every game, totaling eight receptions for 160 yards and three touchdowns. His most notable moment was catching the game-winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa in the National Championship Game as Alabama defeated Georgia. Smith improved as a sophomore with 42 receptions for 693 yards and six touchdowns. Alabama went 14-1 that season with the season ending with a loss in the National Championship Game to Clemson. As a junior, Smith improved again with 68 receptions for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide went 11-2 winning the Citrus Bowl at the end of the season. Smith decided to return for his senior season, which resulted in him winning the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship. He had a monster year with 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Smith has more production than any wide receiver in recent memory. He is currently projected to be selected early in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Smith is one of the best route-runners in the class. His routes start off with great releases at the line of scrimmage, which set him up to win his matchup. He runs crisp routes to all areas of the field and gets great separation from defensive backs. At Alabama, he was able to run a lot of different routes and has a diverse route tree, making him more advanced than most receivers. His route-running helped him beat some of college football’s best corners over the last few seasons.
His hands are also some of the best in the class. Smith caught balls that were thrown to him, ones that were outside of his frame and frankly, some that he had no business catching. Not only does he make catches after creating separation, he has shown an ability to make catches in traffic over the middle, showing his fearlessness. Quarterbacks will love him because, while he doesn’t have the biggest catch radius, he comes back to the football to make plays.
He isn’t the biggest, fastest or strongest, but Smith is great with the ball in his hands. Smith showed the ability to pick up tons of yards after the catch due to his acceleration and agility. He is elusive and makes defenders miss while running to open space. Even though he isn’t big, he can also be seen running through arm-tackles. Teams will want to design plays to get the ball into Smith’s hands quickly.
Smith’s frame isn’t the greatest for the NFL. He doesn’t have the greatest height at 6-foot-1 and also weighs just 175 pounds. He will need to add muscle to prevent injury, help him beat press coverage and to help him be a more efficient run blocker. His catch radius isn’t the biggest, but he has shown to make contested catches.
He is a threat to get into the end zone every time the ball is in his hands, but he isn’t a traditional red zone threat. Smith will have to get separation in tight areas rather than being thrown 50/50 balls to be effective in the red zone. He has shown the ability to make catches against tight coverage, but that isn’t his main strength.
His run blocking could use some work. Smith doesn’t always have the greatest motor when he is blocking on the outside. He also can’t sustain his blocks because he isn’t a big wide receiver. If he adds weight and puts more effort into it, he can be a serviceable run blocker.
Projected Draft Range: Top 10 Pick
Make sure to check out our brand new NFL Draft page for more content!