DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy, put up 1,856 yards receiving with 23 TDs, and torched Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship to the tune of 215 yards and three TDs.
Despite the prolific resume, all seemingly anyone wants to talk about regarding the dynamite wide receiver ahead of Thursday’s 2021 NFL Draft is his weight, which reportedly came in at 166 pounds at the medical checkup in Indianapolis earlier this month.
Joining NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Tuesday, Smith rejected the idea that he’s too light to dominate in the NFL as he did in college.
“We play football. We’re in a football business. We’re not weightlifting. We’re not bodybuilders,” he retorted when asked about his weight. “It’s football. That’s what we’re here for. All the other stuff is irrelevant.”
The notion that a 6-foot, 170ish pound wide receiver could get pushed around breaks down when watching Smith’s film. He plays with a nuance that doesn’t allow defensive backs to bump him off course. The wideout runs routes with precision to create enormous separation and has excellent hands. Watching Smith play wideout, everything just seems to come easy.
Perhaps no one else has dominated in the NFL at so light a weight. It’s the outliers that make professional sports special and entertaining. Just because others haven’t done it doesn’t mean Smith can’t be one-of-one.
He told GMFB that it’s his attention to detail that will allow him to excel in the NFL.
“Overall, just putting more in the bag, really,” he said of how he grew in his final year at Alabama. “Just having different things that I can do different ways to get from point A to point B. Just overall football smarts. I feel like I’m one of the smartest players out there, and that just comes down to preparation and always wanting to be a step ahead of who I’m playing against.”
The top three projected wideouts ahead of Thursday’s first round are Smith, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle. How each is ranked on teams’ boards is likely a matter of preference.
Smith said his versatility gives him a leg-up entering the NFL and could make him the top rookie WR.
“I can do everything — inside, outside, you can put me on special teams,” he said. “There is nothing I can’t do. No job is too big. Wherever you want to plug me in at I can do that. So, that just gives me an advantage.”
The Heisman Trophy winner will hear his name called Thursday night. How high depends on whether teams agree that he doesn’t need to be a bodybuilder to succeed in the NFL.
Want to create your own mock for the 2021 NFL Draft? Check outPFF’s draft simulatorto play out countless scenarios for every team spanning all seven rounds.
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