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Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith: Which 2021 NFL Draft WR Will Be Selected First?

Posted: Jan 23, 2021Last updated: Jan 24, 2021
Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith: Which 2021 NFL Draft wide receiver will be selected first? This excerpt originated from Marcus Mosher’s recent NFL mailbag.

Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith: Which 2021 NFL Draft wide receiver will be selected first?

Going into the season, Ja’Marr Chase (LSU) was the clear-cut favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted. Coming off a 1,780-yard, 20-touchdown season, Chase decided to opt-out for the year to prepare for the NFL. That left the door open for DeVonta Smith, who leaves Alabama as its all-time leading receiver with two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy award under his belt.
Ja'Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith: Which 2021 NFL Draft WR Will Be Selected First?

Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith: Which 2021 NFL Draft WR Will Be Selected First? (USA TODAY Sports)

  Smith was able to surpass Chase’s best season, totaling 1,862 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide in an all-SEC regular-season schedule. Given how dominant he was on the national stage and the fact that he has produced more recently than Chase, I now expect Smith to be the first receiver drafted. Is that the right move? That will be a question we will have to dig further into over the next several months. As for which teams could select either one of these players, their draft range starts at No. 3 with the Dolphins. If Miami decides to stick with Tua, then Smith or Chase would be excellent options. After that, Philadelphia (No. 6), New York Giants (No. 11) and New England (No. 15) all appear to be likely destinations for wide receivers. But we also know how much teams value elite receivers, so don’t be surprised if teams like the Jets (No. 23) or the Jaguars (No. 25) make big trades up in this draft to secure an elite weapon with their new franchise passers. (Question by @Arguing_Cowboys)

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Author

Marcus Mosher

Marcus Mosher is an NFL analyst at The Game Day, residing in Erie, PA. He covers the NFL from a betting and fantasy perspective, producing written and video content. Marcus currently hosts multiple football-related podcasts and is a managing editor at USA Today’s Sports Media Group covering the Las Vegas Raiders. He has previously worked at The Athletic and Bleacher Report.

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