Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith needs no introduction. Coming off an electric 2020 season with 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns, Smith is an elite Wide Receiver the Eagles desperately need.
How will he fit?
Smith is a very unique player because he can move all around the field, and he can do many different things for an offense. However, he is not just a gadget player. He is a player who I expect to be moved all over the formation and play both outside and in the slot. There are people who did not want Smith because they are afraid of his slim build at 6'1 and about 165 pounds. He undoubtedly needs to put on some weight, but I don't think it will be as much of an issue as some people might think. Smith plays bigger than his size. Watching him the past few years at Alabama, I have seen him go up and make the big time catches that NFL Wide Receivers make.
The most important thing that should make Eagles fans happy is that he only had 3 drops on 145 targets last season. Smith is as sure handed as a prospect can be. He can run every route on the route tree, and he is good with the ball in his hands after the catch. Over the next few years, we could very much see the Eagles first 1,000 yard Receiver since Jeremy Maclin.
As much as I hate to say it yet again, I have to give Howie Roseman some credit here. He has made two tremendous trades so far in this draft. First, Howie was given a first round pick next season from the Dolphins to sap picks 6 and 12. Many fans were annoyed by this move, but I was not one of them. Reports came out that the reason the Eagles moved back was because they believed the two players they wanted at 6, Kyle Pitts and Ja'Marr Chase, would both be gone before the Eagles were on the clock. There were also rumors, which turned out to be smoke, that the Eagles were also big fans of Jalen Waddle. I firmly believe that the Eagles were never truly interested in Waddle, but they wanted to gain as much value in a trade as possible, and it worked. The Dolphins overpaid, and the Eagles moved back to 12.
Last night as the Draft unfolded, it was clear that DeVonta Smith wasn't going to reach the Eagles at pick 12. Most likely, The Giants would have taken Smith at pick 11, especially since we saw them move back after our selection and take another Wide Receiver. So Howie made a deal with the devil, Jerry Jones, and gave up pick 84 in the 3rd round to move up and select the Heisman Trophy winner. The Eagles for once, didn't overthink this pick. For those who wanted defense, relax. The Eagles are on the clock at pick 37 tonight, and there are tons of great talents on the defensive side of the ball still available such as Trevon Moehrig, Asante Samuel Jr and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. In my opinion, all three of those players are first round talents, and the fact that they are still on the board is shocking. I would love to see Howie jump up a few spots and take one of those guys. That would give the Eagles two day-one starters through the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
What does this mean for Jalen Hurts?
I am a strong believer in Jalen Hurts. He is a tremendous leader, who I think will shock a lot of people this season with his play on the field. The Eagles selection a Wide Receiver, especially one Hurts is familiar with in DeVonta Smith, shows me that the Eagles are committed to Jalen Hurts for at least this season. Pairing Smith with a healthy Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert, along with a ground game of Sanders and Hurts, could give the Eagles a fun offense to watch this season.
The fastest way the Eagles can turn this thing around is if Jalen Hurts can prove he is the Franchise Quarterback this season. If the Eagles are able to add 3 players in the first round next season, all of which being non-Quarterbacks, then the Eagles would have a very solid core of young talent to work with.
More Eagles Draft breakdowns to come following the rest of the Draft!