DeVonta Smith’s size won’t impact his success in the NFL, says NFL Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah

At 170 pounds Alabama’s DeVonta Smith is set to be one of the lightest first-round wide receivers in recent NFL history, but Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah isn’t worried about his ability to succeed at the next level.

Last Updated: 24/03/21 11:28am

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via AP images)

The only flicker of uncertainty surrounding Alabama standout DeVonta Smith remains his size, and while it may have a minor say in where the wide receiver gets selected, NFL Network Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has no concerns that it will hinder him upon stepping up to the pros. 

The 6ft 1in Smith didn’t participate in drills at Alabama’s Pro Day on Tuesday, but did address a burning question as he revealed he currently weighs in at 170 pounds.

The Heisman Trophy winner looks set to become the second-lightest first-round receiver since 1999 behind the Baltimore Ravens’ Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, who came in at 166 pounds out of Oklahoma in 2019.

“I think it could impact a little bit of how high he goes,” Jeremiah told media. “You have a certain checklist teams like to have if you’re going to take a wideout in the top 10 just because there are always so many of them.

“For the fact he comes in a little underweight or what-have-you might have some impact on where he goes. I don’t think it’s going to have any impact on what he’s going to do at the next level. I think he’s going to be outstanding.”

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain talks with NFL Network’s James Palmer about his pro day performance

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain talks with NFL Network’s James Palmer about his pro day performance

While he may lack the stature of others in his position class, Smith is an artist when it comes to route-running and pure playmaking ability, with the safe hands to make difficult catches in traffic and underrated speed to take the top off a defense.

Jeremiah’s colleague Bucky Brooks has Smith going to Washington at 19th overall in his latest mock draft, while their fellow Draft analyst Lance Zierlein has him heading to the Detroit Lions with the No 7 pick. There are many who meanwhile consider him the lead receiver in the class ahead of LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama team-mate Jaylen Waddle.

The 22-year-old led the nation in 2020 with 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns, averaging a second-most 142.8 receiving yards per game behind only Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, notably in five games fewer.

“Every year I go back and you try and learn from mistakes and find trends and every year when you look at the production of these receivers as they come into the NFL, the pure route-runners are the guys that hit,” continued Jeremiah.

“You get in trouble when you kind of get away from that and guys that aren’t polished or savvy as a route-runner don’t tend to have as much success, particularly immediately.

“I think he’s ready. You look at Justin Jefferson and how he came into the league last year as such a polished player, I think DeVonta gives you a lot of those similarities.

“Because he doesn’t really fit the mould in terms of the bulk he possesses, could he fall outside the top 10? Yeah sure, that wouldn’t shock me. But I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on what type of player he’s going to be.”

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