Devonta Smith, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy winner is the second wide receiver off the board in this mock behind his teammate Jaylen Waddle. With Chase available, Smith’s versatility as a Z and Slot receiver felt more valuable to the Dallas Cowboys in his first season. (Obviously with Gallup out of the picture in 2022, any receiver would’ve been a good choice)
Much of the discussion around Smith ever since his tremendous senior campaign is how his body type is an outlier in the NFL. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds with a high-waisted frame, his general inability to put on weight will leave several front offices skeptical if his body can take the abuse of the NFL.
This question, however, seems partially irrelevant considering how often Smith dealt with press coverage in Tuscaloosa and how effective he was generating yards after the catch. People are bigger and more explosive at the next level, but it isn’t like he hasn’t played NFL-caliber talent before.
Smith has good athletic ability that is headlined by his elite change of direction and agility. He displays good mental processing understanding how to beat the DBs leverage and understands how to widen the stem of his routes in order to increase separation at all areas of the field.
Often an attribute of Alabama prospects is their competitive and physical toughness. There is nothing different with Smith as he consistently displays the ability to play bigger than his size against physical cornerbacks. His adjustment ability to beat defenders in contested catches and catch passes outside his frame are very good because of his strong hands.
Realistically, if he’s on the board at pick 10, the Cowboys don’t draft him. However, if you wanted a receiver, he’s pretty confidently one of the best on the board and is definitely worth a top 10 pick. It also prevents the Eagles from picking him up; I reckon that’d be tasteful punishment.