Looks like the Eagles had their target set on a wide receiver, even if they had stayed at #6 overall.
The Eagles made a draft-day trade with – of all teams – the Dallas Cowboys moving up from No. 12 overall to No. 10 overall to select wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama. In exchange, the Eagles also gave the Cowboys a third-round pick, No. 84 overall.
The Eagles moved back from their original draft spot of No. 6 to No. 10, just four spots, and added a 2022 first-round pick in the pursuit of Smith. The Eagles also jumped up from the fifth round to the fourth round this year.
“I was shocked that they had traded up for me,” Smith said during a virtual conference call from the site of the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland. “I was really excited and it’s a blessing.”
Smith had a season for the ages in 2020, recording 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns helping Alabama capture the National Championship while becoming just the fourth wide receiver to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
A three-year starter, the 22-year-old Smith led the Crimson Tide in receptions in back-to-back seasons despite sharing targets with three eventual first-round selections (Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle). The 6-0, 170-pound Smith started his brilliant college career in spectacular fashion by catching the National Championship-winning touchdown in overtime against Georgia.
The Amite, Louisiana native was a second-team All-American and second-team All-SEC selection in 2019 with 68 catches for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns. He caught a school-record five touchdowns in a single game against Mississippi that season.
For his career, Smith posted 235 receptions for 3,965 yards (16.9 yards per catch) and 46 receiving touchdowns.
Scouting Report: “We saw a player that was a smooth mover. He can open up and run and he was a player that can win at all three levels from different alignments,” Vice Present of Player Personnel Andy Weidl said. “I think his ability to high-point the ball, to play above the rim, to adjust to the football, to make contested catches, really stood out. I think another thing about Smith that we really liked about the guy is his selflessness. Not only was he a productive receiver, he was a punt returner. He returned a punt for a touchdown this year against Arkansas. He’s been a gunner in the past on the punt team. When you talk about a teammate that would go above and beyond to help his team win, he embodied that. We’re excited to bring him in, excited to have that caliber of receiver that DeVonta brings to us.”
There is a concern for Smith’s skinny body’s durability in the NFL. DeVonta Smith’s height and weight have been a subject of skepticism during the pre-draft cycle. While the Heisman-winning wide receiver had a dominant season at Alabama, some looked at his frame, height and weight and questioned whether he’s a true top-10 prospect.
While Smith didn’t measure in at the Alabama pro day, SI’s Albert Breer is reporting that Smith has measured in at 6 feet and 166 pounds after medical examines earlier in April.
MACH 10 UPDATE:
We received dozens of ballots and EYE thank you for that… Amazingly, the majority of entries did NOT have the Little Big Man on their lists. EYE was one of them, thinking no way the Eagles would be so obvious in admitting this was the guy they wanted. But fooled again (paper, rock, scissors)…
Here are the entries who DID have DeVonta Smith:
The Great JB99
South Philly Ben
Don’t despair, fellow MACHers, we still have Rounds 2 through 7 left.