Heisman Trophy-winning Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith recently tipped the scales at 166 pounds, which could torpedo his stock in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Because there’s expected to be an early run on quarterbacks, and teams have the option of other top pass-catching prospects in Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle, we could see Smith slide in the first round.
Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo pointed to the Miami Dolphins as a team who may rule out Smith based solely on his weight.
“Somebody said to me, someone close to the organization, they said when push comes to shove, they don’t know if [Dolphins GM] Chris Grier is going to draft a receiver that’s under 170 pounds,” said Wingo.
The Dolphins already have bigger-bodied targets in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams on the roster. They signed Will Fuller to a one-year deal in free agency to be their hopeful deep threat. Fuller has struggled to stay healthy, and has added weight as his career went on because he kept getting banged up.
It’s being heavily rumored that the Cardinals are trying to trade up from 16th overall, and wide receiver could definitely be a position they’re targeting.
DeAndre Hopkins is a legitimate No. 1, but how much does A.J. Green really have in the tank? Younger players like Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella are former second-round picks who’ve come up small for the most part.
Smith is especially different from the latter two players. He could wreak havoc aligning in the slot, or in stacked formations alongside Hopkins. Kyler Murray has a penchant for the short passing game, and while Smith can excel there, his long speed and precise route-running can help Arizona really stretch the field.
Imagine being an NFL rookie wideout and getting mentored by vets like Hopkins and Green. In a loaded NFC West division, Smith could be an X-factor who helps the Cardinals reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 campaign.
Bill Belichick just can’t hit on a draft pick at receiver to save his life. The best player he had at that position, Julian Edelman, just retired and by sheer force of will squeezed every ounce out of his potential as a former seventh-round pick and converted college QB.
Smith seems like as good of a chance as Belichick would have of nailing a pick at wideout. The Hoodie’s strong ties to Alabama head coach Nick Saban would no doubt play a role here, and the fact that Smith has such an advanced football IQ and can line up literally anywhere on the field would be appealing to New England.
This, of course, assumes that the Patriots don’t parlay their aggressive free agency into an all-out effort to trade up from No. 15 to land their long-term quarterback. Whatever the case may be, Cam Newton‘s life would be a lot easier in 2021 if Smith were in New England’s receiving corps.
Guess what? The Packers have two picks in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. They have plenty to burn through, and could offer one from each of those rounds in a trade package to move up in Round 1.
If Smith somehow slips past the Patriots at 15 and the Cardinals at 16, there’s a realistic scenario in which Green Bay offers its 29th overall pick, the 135th, 178th and 220th picks to Miami in exchange for No. 18 overall.
All of the Packers’ core receivers are bigger-bodied targets, with Davante Adams as the obvious No. 1 option. Instead of praying a late first-round cornerback will hit, how about a good-faith move to show Aaron Rodgers that the team is fully committed to winning now?
Pairing Smith with Adams would make Green Bay’s passing attack about as unstoppable as any in the sport. Heck, with all this draft capital, the Pack should be doing all they can to secure a premium weapon, because Jordan Love is eventually going to need some help to fill Rodgers’ shoes.