2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith

HEIGHT: 6-1 / WEIGHT: 175 / COLLEGE: Alabama / CLASS: Senior

2020 STATS (13 GAMES): 117 receptions, 1,856 yards, 15.9 YPC, 23 touchdowns

CAREER STATS (47 GAMES): 235 receptions, 3,965 yards, 16.9 YPC, 46 touchdowns

GAMES WATCHED (12): Missouri, Ole Miss, Florida, Notre Dame, Georgia, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, LSU (2020); Ole Miss, Michigan, LSU, South Carolina (2019)

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SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (3/5)

  • Average height
  • Rail-thin frame
  • Long arms
  • Good leaping ability
  • Huge catch radius

SPEED/BURST (9/10)

  • Good top-end speed and acceleration (legit 4.4 game speed)
  • Glides past defenders on vertical routes when given a free release
  • Can outrun favorable pursuit angles after the catch on occasion
  • Capable deep threat

AGILITY (9/10)

  • Silky smooth change of direction through routes
  • Accelerates through cuts quickly and throttles down efficiently when working back to the ball

ROUTE RUNNING/SEPARATION (19/20)

  • Very detailed and creative route runner
  • Sells route fakes effectively with eyes, shoulders and overall body language
  • Showcases an expansive route tree
  • Gets open at all three levels of the field
  • Uses various hand-fighting techniques such as the forearm pull to create separation at the top of his routes
  • Efficient releases off the line of scrimmage
  • Has experience at all three wide receiver positions but is best suited for Z or slot receiver role

RUN AFTER CATCH (8.5/10)

  • Lacks strength and contact balance to consistently break tackles after the catch
  • Picks up nice gains on shallow crossers and swings when he can take advantage of his speed
  • Elusive in the open field

HANDS/BALL SKILLS (20/20)

  • Extremely consistent hands catcher (2.9% career drop rate!!!)
  • Very good high-point ability
  • Makes catches in traffic and secures the ball through contact consistently
  • Wins 50/50 balls at a surprisingly high rate given his frame

BODY CONTROL (10/10)

  • Adjusts well to back-shoulder and off-target throws
  • Shows exceptional body control near the sideline and back of the end zone
  • Can make tough catches away from his frame
  • Gears down quickly for routes that work back towards the ball

PRESS RELEASES (8.5/10)

  • Shows ability to consistently avoid jam by utilizing feet and hands
  • Mixes up releases to keep cornerbacks guessing
  • Might get bumped off his route stem or hung up on press at the line more consistently against NFL cornerbacks

TRACK/ADJUST (5/5)

  • Effortless deep-ball tracker
  • Quick to locate soft spots in zone coverage
  • Works back to the quarterback on broken plays
  • Tremendous sideline awareness

OVERALL GRADE: 92.00/100.00 — ELITE — Future All-Pro/Top-5 potential at position

SCHEME FIT: Z receiver with the ability to play Y and a little X

DRAFT PROJECTION: Top-15 pick

DeVonta Smith is an abnormally thin top receiver prospect, but his skill set should set him up for a lot of success at the next level, assuming he’s utilized properly. The Alabama senior ticks every single box you look for in a top NFL receiver other than size. He’s an elite route runner, he’s got great hands, he’s fast, has exceptional body control and a good ability to create after the catch.

Smith’s frame doesn’t look like it can carry much more weight, but he plays stronger than his size and he should be able to win with technique and quickness fairly consistently. Limiting his snaps as an X receiver and utilizing him in stacked alignments to help him get free releases will maximize his immense talent. Smith’s floor as an NFL player is high because he does so many things well. His ceiling could be All-Pro, but it’ll depend on how he’s utilized and how he handles physical coverage from superior athletes at the next level.

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