Why the Dallas Cowboys should draft WR DeVonte Smith
Alas the tumultuous 2020 NFL season is coming to an end, and after what looked like a lost season midway through, the Dallas Cowboys are only a win and a Washington Football Team loss from the four seed in the NFC.
With the team currently on a three-game win streak, a win against the New York Giants doesn’t seem unlikely. However, given the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback problems and their offensive line situation mirroring Dallas’, a Washington loss might be hard to come by.
For that reason, it seems fair to think that the Dallas Cowboys will have a top 15 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The 2020 team underperformed from the preseason expectations, in large part due to a long list of injuries, but also from poor defensive play early in the season.
With a defensive overhaul imminent, it wasn’t necessary for the team lose games in order to grab a top-five pick at the beginning of each round. A handful of good rookies was not going to be enough to mask problems at all areas of the defense.
In fact, it was for the best that the team experimented with their younger players and try to continue winning games in order to establish a mentality and culture within the building for future players to abide by. That alone could be enough for this team to take the next step, a step they have been trying to take for way too long now.
As previously mentioned, the team will find themselves in the 7 to 15 pick range at the beginning of each round pending all of Sunday’s results. Eight picks is a serious range with potentially even more significant impact as the draft moves on.
Recognizing this and what the team needs, adding a wide receiver to an already dynamic wide receiver room seems like incredibly poor management of a high first-round pick. However, wide receivers like Devonta Smith don’t grow on trees. It is very rare for a player of his size to be as complete of a receiver like him.
Smith is now the second wide receiver in Alabama history with 100 receptions in a season, in a season that was abbreviated due to the pandemic. Weekly, Smith was dominant against some of the best competition in the country and was somehow even better when his partner-in-crime, Jaylen Waddle, went down with a broken ankle.
This season, Smith has caught 105 receptions for 1,841 yards and 20 touchdowns. He’s played twelve games this season. His understanding of how to get open and how to get yards after the catch with a lesser athletic profile than his peers prove just how much of an anomaly he is as a wide receiver.
Unfortunately for him, the combine will be quite important. His weight and frame aren’t generally conducive to sustained success at the next level and he doesn’t appear to be an elite athlete either. It is apparent that his play speed is much faster than his collegiate opponents but there is quite a leap in athleticism that every rookie has to deal with for an extended period of time at some point in their careers.