The Miami Dolphins will have an up-close-and-personal look at Alabama wide receiver and 2021 NFL Daft first-round prospect DeVonta Smith at next week’s Senior Bowl. The Heisman Trophy winner accepted his invite, the game’s official Twitter account announced Monday morning. The Dolphins coaching staff will serve as the staff for the game’s National team.
Jim Nagy, the executive director for the Reese’s Senior Bowl and ESPN draft analyst, has been announcing each team’s roster position group by position group. Yesterday, he announced the wide receivers for each club, Miami’s National roster and the Carolina Panthers’ American roster. For Miami, South Dakota State’s Cade Johnson, UCLA’s Demetric Felton, Michigan’s Nico Collins, Notre Dame’s Ben Skowronek, Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace, Western Michigan’s D’Wayne Eskridge, Arizona State’s Frank Darby, and Louisville’s Dez Fitzpatrick were announced as members of their roster. The Panthers’ roster includes Florida’s Kadarius Toney, South Carolina’s Shi Smith, Clemson’s Amari Rodgers, Clemson’s Cornell Powell, Tennessee Josh Palmer, Houston’s Marquez Stevenson, LSU’s Racey McMath, UAB’s Austin Watkins, Jr., and Florida’s Trevon Grimes. With Carolina’s roster already having nine receivers, while Miami’s only has eight, it seems likely Smith will be added to the Dolphins’ sideline.
Smith caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, in route to the Heisman Trophy. In the College Football Playoff National Championship game - played in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium - he recorded 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns, while only playing in the first half due to a finger injury. He was named the game’s offensive MVP.
Speculation, especially following his performance in the championship game, has Miami potentially using the third-overall pick in April’s Draft, a selection they received from the Houston Texans in 2019’s trade of tackle Laremy Tunsil, to select Smith. They will now get a good look at the receiver, even if the finger injury lingers and he cannot fully practice or play in the game, for a week. In a year where the NFL Scouting Combine, team visits, and college pro days are in doubt due to the coronavirus, the opportunity to work with Smith could solidify the Dolphins’ plans for the first of their two first-round picks.
Update: According to Nagy, Smith’s thumb injury will prevent him from taking part in any on-field activities during the week, but he will be allowed to take part in all team meetings with the Dolphins’ staff and have interview availability for all 32 teams.