Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: DeVonta Smith

Name: DeVonta Smith

Position: Wide receiver

School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-1/170

How he fits: The last time we saw Smith on the football field was in the National Championship Game victory over Ohio State. He recorded a game-high 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns – in the first half. Smith didn't play in the second half due to a hand injury.

That's just how dominant of a 2020 season last year's Heisman Trophy winner had. Smith finished the season with 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Detroit sits at No. 7 in the draft and could still stand to bolster its receiving corps, even after adding veterans Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond and Damion Ratley in free agency, and returning Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison from last season.

Adding one of the top receivers in this draft class would go a long way to solidifying that group and giving quarterback Jared Goff a nice set of skill players to throw to, along with Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson and explosive second-year running back D’Andre Swift.

Some worry about Smith's lean frame, but let's not forget he played in the SEC, the closest thing to pro ball the college game has, and he dominated there.

Key observations: Smith is one of three Heisman Trophy winners in Alabama history, joining Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015).

Smith had a four and five-touchdown game in his career, making him the only receiver in SEC history with multiple career games totaling four or more receiving touchdowns. Smith also holds the SEC and Alabama career records for receiving touchdowns (46) and receiving yards (3,965).

He also returned 11 punts for 237 yards (21.5 average) and a score last season, so that's part of his repertoire as well.  

What they had to say about him: "While Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley is my NFL comparison for Smith, I feel like a better comp might be Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry. Like Curry, Smith is thinner than you'd like and isn't the strongest player, but he has rare quickness, speed, and change-of-direction fluidity, and he creates separation from defenders seemingly at will. He possesses an elite skill level for the position and can hit the defense from short, mid-range or deep.

"Smith has quietly been the most complete of the receivers at Alabama over the last two seasons and will give an NFL team the ability to mismatch him against the weak links either inside or outside in coverage. He's a detailed route runner with the athletic ability to really make them count, from a separation standpoint, and his ball skills are unquestioned. Smith has the football character, athletic gifts and upper-echelon skill level to become a long-time starter and Pro Bowl regular." – NFL analyst Lance Zierlein

What he had to say: "I feel like it's not going to be no different than college," Smith said at Alabama's pro day about his slim frame. " I played against some of the best in college.

"I played in the SEC. I feel like that's the toughest conference there is. I know lot of people that's bigger than me and have more problems than me. I'm not worried about it at all."

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