2021 NFL mock draft: How far could DeVonta Smith fall?

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Luke Easterling
·2 min read
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Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith is coming off one of the most incredible seasons college football has ever seen from a wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically be one of the first players selected in the 2021 NFL draft.

In fact, while there was some debate toward the end of Smith’s Heisman-winning season that he could leapfrog LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase as this year’s top pass-catching prospect, some recent projections indicate Smith could be in for a draft-day slide in the first round.

That’s what happens in the latest 2021 NFL mock draft from CBS Sports, which has Smith falling all the way to the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 17 overall, behind Chase (No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions) and Smith’s college teammate, Jaylen Waddle (No. 15 overall, New England Patriots).

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports explains the Raiders snatching up Smith to pair with another familiar face:

After parting ways with Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas turns to Henry Ruggs’ former teammate to provide a spark on offense.

There’s no denying Smith’s incredible production last season, nor his big-play ability, regardless of opponent. But questions about his slim frame (listed at 6-1, 175 pounds) could have some teams concerned about his durability at the next level.

Speaking of Alabama stars that go a bit later than expected, this projection also has Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones nearly falling out of the first round entirely, finally landing with the New Orleans Saints at No. 28 overall to replace Drew Brees.

Edwards says New Orleans is actually Jones’ best fit if he’s going to find himself a spot in the first round at all:

I have mocked Mac Jones to the Saints for awhile. They are essentially the only team in the first round that I would feel comfortable taking him. It is the best situation for him to succeed.

To check out the full first-round projection at CBS Sports, click here.