NFL teams are notorious for over-analyzing great players in the pre-draft process, and DeVonta Smith is no exception. Never mind that he just put up one of the most dominant WR seasons in college football history. It’s his 166 lb. frame that everyone wants to focus on.
Little can be said about Smith that hasn’t been said already. He has some of the best, most consistent hands you will ever find. He has elite speed. His route running is fluid and flawless. His quickness makes him nearly impossible to jam at the line of scrimmage, as Derek Stingley learned back in 2019, in what should have been a sign of things to come.
Smith is also wiry strong. As shown above, he isn’t easy to get to the ground after the catch. He routinely wins 50/50 balls and hangs onto the football while absorbing contact. If there is any area that his size affects him, it’s in his run blocking against bigger corners, but the effort is always there and he usually holds his own.
Most of all, Smith is a a high character player whose quiet demeanor and workmanlike leadership remind of Alabama great Julio Jones. Nick Saban acknowledges being concerned about his size coming out of high school but he still offered despite already having pledges from higher rated Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy. All Smith did was outshine them all and accomplish everything one could hope for at the college level. He will now have to adapt at the professional level.
It’s rare that you analyze a player and find no weaknesses, but when you do there’s a decent chance that the dude won a Heisman, Walter Camp, and Biletnikoff to go with a couple of national championships, with a walk-off TD catch in one and a 200+ yard first half in the other. There isn’t a safer bet in this draft if a high end starter at an important position is what you’re looking for.
Go ahead and pass on him because of his size.
He dares you.