2021 NFL Draft Picks: Skinny DeVonta Smith To Slide Due To Physique Concerns
It's nearly time for the NFL Draft. So far this week we've told you why Trevor Lawrence is a lock for first overall and why Justin Fields is better than Mac Jones. We've also focused on Ja'Marr Chase and today we're looking at his competition to be the first reciever off the board, DeVonta Smith.
NFL Draft DeVonta Smith Odds, Pick & Prediction
When Alabama were marching their way to another College Football Championship there was only one player on everyone's lips. DeVonta Smith's CFB playoff highlights alone would be better than most players have put up over a lifetime.
As 'Bama stormed their way to another title it looked set that DeVonta Smith's draft stock was on an unstoppable rise. He was being ranked as the first reciever off the board by many, overtaking Ja'Marr Chase.
As the dust has settled and we've inched closer to the NFL Draft we've seen DeVonta Smith's stock take a slight hit. Chase has reclaimed his spot as the most coveted wideout in the NFL Draft and even Smith's own teammate Jaylen Waddle has been mocked as going earlier than him, by many experts.
So let's take a look at what Smith can offer. Firstly, he's electric. There's no doubt in that. He's fast, a lot faster than he looks at times but DeVonta Smith is not a burner. He's considerably better than that. His routes are smooth and his hands are sensational. But there is one big, or not so big issue, issue that it's hard to escape from.
Size. DeVonta Smith has height but he doesn't have weight. His frame isn't just wirey it's almost non existent. At 166 pounds he's incredibly light, weight nearly 20 pounds less than Ja'Marr Chase who is shorter too.
Smith plays hard, that can't be doubted. He's physical despite that size but against elite defensive players in the NFL that's going to be a lot harder. These guys are going to be substanitally heavier, quicker and stronger and I'm very concerned that he'll struggle, even if his body holds up, and it sounds like many GMs are too.
Is DeVonta Smith's size an issue?
Smith's line in the NFL Draft is 11.5 but for me it's well worth backing on him to be selected after that. If there is anybody who is reguarly mocked in the top 15 of the NFL Draft who is likely to slide then it has to be Smith.
If we remove potential trades then you'd have to say there are maybe 4 teams in the top 11 who may take Smith. The Bengals are first up, and the LSU connection would surely see them take Ja'Marr Chase is the option was there, otherwise they'll be taking offensive line help to protect Joe Burrow.
Next up are the Dolphins followed by the Lions. Miami are a team who I can see trading down, taking Kyle Pitts or potentially chasing Chase if he is still there. The Lions need somebody to replace Kenny Golladay but will they not look to improve on other areas of that woeful roster first? The Panthers, Broncos and Cowboys all have far bigger priorities than a wideout. That leaves the Giants at 11, somewhere where Smith has been heavily rumored to land.
I don't buy it. They have Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepherd already on that roster. The bookies may make him +240 to be the Giants first pick but I don't. Their offensive line was dreadful for large parts of last year and needs improvement. There are other holes elsewhere which need fixing too and a WR just doesn't make sense to me.
I think it's very likely that Smith doesn't get selected in the first 11 picks, certainly a lot more likely that -122 odds would suggest.
I personally wouldn't go near DeVonta Smith at the higher ends of the NFL Draft. He could well have a productive NFL career but his size is simply too much of a red flag, as his age, with 22-years being old in NFL Draft terms. With those early selections in the NFL Draft I think we'll see teams looking for something concrete rather than take a hit on somebody who has a number of red flags and a higher than average chance of being a bust. Fade DeVonta Smith and take it to the bank.
NFL Draft Expert Pick
NFL Draft Over/Under - DeVonta Smith Over Pick 11.5 @ -122 (Click to bet)
2021 NFL Draft Free Picks
As we get ready for the 2021 NFL Draft in April, we take a look at the odds for some of the top prospects available. We know Trevor Lawrence will be going first overall, but what about Zach Wilson? Justin Fields? Penei Sewell?
Leading up to the draft, NFL experts Sam Farley and Brian Good will break down the odds for each of the top players in the 2021 NFL Draft and try to predict where they’ll be playing come Week 1 next season.