2021 NFL draft profile: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith

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Laurie Fitzpatrick
·2 min read
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The 2021 NFL draft is right around the corner, and we’ve got all the nuts and bolts on this year’s top prospects.

Here’s everything you need to know about Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith:

Vitals

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Height | 6-0 Weight | 166 Class | Senior

The Good Stuff

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of aspects of Smith's game that can be considered elite at the NFL level. His route-running technique, foot speed, explosiveness out of his release and long strides are all top-shelf. He lowers his pads and simultaneously covers ball at contact, yet somehow still remains elusive with impressive stop-and-go ability. Smith can line up on the outside, or in the slot. His releases against soft jams are where he excels best. His shifty hips and active hands into his stem give him immediate separation. Once he is in his stem, don’t give this man any leverage because he will stack and out-run you in the blink of an eye.

Under Construction

Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

His body type would be his only downside. Being only 166 pounds, his durability could be a concern. Against press coverage he was pushed around at times, so his play strength should be something he can work on at the next level.

The Bottom Line

(Photo by Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images)

Smith is a standout receiver who might make the Pro Bowl as a rookie because of his technique alone. His lean frame frame, loose hips, and long strides allow him to navigate through traffic without losing stride. He is a deep-ball tracker who excels in open space, so throwing the ball to Smith in stride will be important. The Heisman Trophy winner should make a huge impact for any offense who can use him on the outside for short crossers and bubble screens, or out of the slot where he can run up the seam to pressure opposing safeties.

Projection: 1st Round

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