DeVonta Smith NFL Draft 2021 Prospect Profile: Heisman Trophy Winner Set For 1st-Round Pick
This is The Game Day’s DeVonta Smith NFL Draft Prospect Profile. After you read our DeVonta Smith Scouting Report, Marcus Mosher’s first 2021 NFL Mock Draft for Round 1 and see where DeVonta Smith is predicted to be selected.
DeVonta Smith NFL Draft Prospect Profile
DeVonta Smith Draft Prospect: Bio & Measurables
- School: Alabama
- Class in Final Season: Senior
- Age on NFL Draft: 22 Years Old
- Height: 6-foot-1
- Weight: 175 lbs.
DeVonta Smith Scouting Report
- Considerable positional versatility at receiver, able to play outside or in the slot with success
- Sure-handed, improving his catch rate from the prior year in each of his last three college seasons
- Exhibits above-average body control
- Known for polished, precise routes
- Abundant big-game college experience and strong track record against quality teams, including a 12-215-3 line versus Ohio State in the CFP National Championship Game in just one half
- Can be consistently explosive, both out of breaks and downfield
- Above-average run-after-catch ability
- Sneaky speed that shows up on deep routes
- Known to have high football IQ and good feel for finding soft spots in zones
- Proved a skilled punt returner his senior year, averaging 21.5 yards and scoring a touchdown on 11 runbacks
- Slight frame will increase odds of injury at NFL level
- Not believed to be able to put on much, if any, more weight based on his body type
- Lack of size makes him a sub-par blocker, and that deficiency will likely be exacerbated at pro level
- Isn’t believed to have a great 40-yard dash time
DeVonta Smith Draft Prospect NFL Outlook
The 22-year-old will head into the NFL with a level of recent production that overshadows any physical shortcomings he may have on paper.
Becoming the first wide receiver to garner the Heisman Trophy since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991, Smith put up an eye-popping 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns over 13 games. That followed an impressive 68-1,256-14 line during his junior 2019 campaign, dispelling any notion of Smith being a one-year wonder.
The fact that Smith compiled his stellar numbers of the last two years often playing against major competition as a member of the Crimson Tide certainly speaks to his ability to continue producing at the highest level of the sport.
In fact, Smith combined for 20 receptions, 375 yards and six touchdowns in just six quarters of play against Georgia and Ohio State in his two CFP National Championship Games, having left the contest against the latter early in the third quarter due to injury.
There’s little question thriving in the pressure cooker that is playing for Nick Saban helps mold young men for the rigors of the NFL. Look no further than Alabama alums like Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs in terms of players at Smith’s position to corroborate that.
As it is with any first-year player, Smith will undoubtedly face certain challenges in his early years, particularly when encountering some of the more physical and solidly built corners he’ll encounter at the next level.
However, the fact he garnered 47 games of college experience will undoubtedly help Smith’s learning curve, as well as his readiness to adapt to different roles within a receiving corps as necessary.
DeVonta Smith NFL Comparison
A DeVonta Smith Scouting Report doesn’t profile similarly to many current NFL receivers, but the Alabama star has been likened to a pair of the greatest wideouts in NFL history: Marvin Harrison and, for the more optimistic, Jerry Rice.
Like Harrison, Smith is a polished, silky-smooth route runner who has excellent hands, and his slight build is similar to the long-time Colt, who was officially listed at 6-foot, 185 pounds.
Meanwhile, in the vein of Rice, Smith doesn’t have clocked speed that would be considered elite by any means, but he makes up for it with prolific production and the eye test of having a completely different gear when he steps on the field.
(Read Marcus Mosher’s take on the NFL Draft Ja’Marr Chase vs. DeVonta Smith wide receiver debate.)
DeVonta Smith 2021 Draft Team Fits
Any of these teams have a clear need at wide receiver, and the selection of Smith would represent a major infusion of talent and explosiveness into any of their air attacks.
Miami Dolphins (No. 3 and No. 18 overall picks)
The Dolphins have seen DeVante Parker finally approach the level of play expected of a first-round pick over the last two seasons, and the veteran’s size and speed combination render him a borderline No. 1 wideout at this stage of his career. However, Miami has an out on his contract this offseason and might consider letting him go.
Smith would potentially make for an excellent complement as the No. 2 option — or a new emerging No. 1 — for a developing Tua Tagovailoa, who enjoyed plenty of success with Smith when both were members of the Crimson Tide.
Miami is also thin on proven options behind Parker, making this a potentially excellent fit. However, the third overall selection may be a tad high for Smith. Still, Miami could move up a few spots from its No. 18 slot to nab Smith while addressing a more pressing need at No. 3.
New York Giants (No. 11 overall pick)
The Giants have a solid 1-2 punch at receiver in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, and Smith would make for an enticing way to round out the top half of the wideout corps.
Veteran Golden Tate is signed through 2022, but a pre-June 1 release would save the Giants just over $6.1 million. A weapon like Smith would undoubtedly benefit third-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who endured somewhat of a sophomore slump in 2020.
New England Patriots (No. 15 pick)
The Patriots are never a team to get hung up on measurables, so a productive receiver like Smith who doesn’t necessarily jump off the page with his numbers is right up their alley in a way.
New England invested the last pick of the first round two Aprils ago in N’Keal Harry, and there are still plenty of questions about the Arizona State product at the pro level. Meanwhile, the likes of Jakobi Meyers and the aging Julian Edelman are also on the roster, but there’s no question Smith would have the potential to represent a major upgrade at the position.
Arizona Cardinals (No. 16 pick)
Finally, the Cardinals can always use more receivers for their pass-centric scheme, and despite the major investment in DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona actually has what could rightfully be termed an inconsistent and unreliable group behind him.
Christian Kirk has flashed a high ceiling at times during his three seasons, but he’s yet to develop the consistency that would make him a truly reliable No. 2 option.
Recent draftees Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson have had their moments, as well, but don’t appear ready to ascend to a role alongside Hopkins. Larry Fitzgerald will rightfully play only a complementary role if he does return in 2021.
These factors combine to provide Smith with a potentially major opportunity in waiting. He would represent a major headache for defenses already preoccupied with Hopkins and could be an instant star while catching passes from Kyler Murray.
DeVonta Smith 2021 Draft Prediction
Round 1, Pick 11 to the New York Giants: With the Giants’ aforementioned need for a high-upside wideout to upgrade their receiving corps, Smith won’t get past them.
With Jones entering his third year under center and coming off an inconsistent second season, New York needs to prioritize giving him every weapon possible with which to either prove or disprove that he’s the franchise’s long-term answer.
Smith serves as just the caliber of player that could help Jones take a major leap forward in 2021.
DeVonta Smith NFL Draft Bet
As of early February, the only NFL Draft markets live on both PointsBet and BetMGM sportsbooks are for the No. 1 overall pick.
Smith is listed at +9000 on PointsBet and +8000 on BetMGM for that prop, but as enticing as those returns could be, they’re simply not wise wagers to make with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence essentially a surefire selection at the top of the draft.
Instead, Team To Draft markets or those that offer an Over/Under on the draft position of certain players will be much more viable for those wishing to place a wager on where the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will go in the first round.
Now that you’ve read our DeVonta Smith draft profile and scouting report, stay tuned after the 2021 NFL Draft for his impact on betting lines, odds, and tips for his likely NFL team.
New BetMGM customers can claim a signup offer to get a $100 Deposit Match up to $500. Use this offer to bet on the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.