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2021 NFL Draft Profile: Is DeVonta Smith the future at pass catcher for the Miami Dolphins?

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It is finally draft day! The NFL Draft is about 4 hours away. Today, we continue to take a closer look at some of the prospects who could be on the Miami Dolphins’ radar. Who will Miami select with their two first-round picks in tonight’s selection process?

We continue looking at the measurables, what analysts are saying, and the fit with the Dolphins for Miami’s potential draft targets. You can check out any of the first seven profiles in the links below. Our eighth look could bring a reunion of two Alabama offensive star in Miami.

Next up on the list, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith:

College Career

Career: 34 games, 235 receptions, 3,965 yards, 46 touchdowns

  • Freshman (2017, Alabama): 8 games, 8 rec, 160 yards, 3 TDs
  • Sophomore (2018, Alabama): 13 games, 42 rec, 693 yards, 6 TDs
  • Junior (2019, Alabama): 13 games, 68 rec, 1,256 yards, 14 TDs
  • Senior (2020, Alabama): 13 games, 117 rec, 1,856 yards, 23 TDs

Measurements

From Alabama pro day:

Height: 6’ 0 14

Weight: 166 lbs

Wingspan: 78 14

Arm Length: 31 7/8”

Hand size: 9 14

Spider Chart (via MockDraftable.com)

Combine-style testing

Smith announced that he would not test at Alabama’s pro-day other than to confirm his height/weight.

What they are saying


Lance Zierlein, NFL.com - “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.”


Ian Cummings, ProFootballNetwork.com - “There are certain size standards that are generally accepted based on positional bounds. Prospects who don’t conform to those standards often get marked down. Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, however, is an outlier in the 2021 NFL Draft. While Smith doesn’t meet all the preconceived standards, he produces at an elite pace. How much will scouts value Smith’s pure production, and can he be the first receiver off the board?”


Jordan Reid, MockDraftNetwork.com - DeVonta Smith is a wide receiver that has played multiple spots for the Alabama offense but has aligned in many different areas depending on the formation and field position. Although he’s a slender wideout who has body dimensions that are maxed out in both his upper and lower halves, he plays much bigger than his frail structure indicates. Possessing sure hands and body control, he has little trouble with making catches in traffic, but his fundamentals remain the same on routine ones as well. Although he may never make defenders miss consistently in space, he has elongated strides that allow him to eat up operating room quickly.

A polished route-runner, he has a well-developed understanding of how to create separation and he also contains a diverse release package when facing challenges at the line of scrimmage. An added incentive to his game, Smith also has value on special teams, as he’s proven to be a dangerous punt returner. In 2019, he was among a loaded position group and still produced despite the many mouths to feed. Serving as the No. 1 option in 2020, he proved to be one of the most valuable and explosive players in the country. Smith will likely not gain another pound onto his frame and his lack of body strength shows up as a blocker or when operating without the ball.


Dolphins fit

I don’t care about the size concerns. Smith is a star.

There’s no doubt that Smith would fit well within Miami’s current offensive makeup. He’d represent a perfect final piece that would round out one of the most talented wide receiver trios in the NFL alongside DeVante Parker and 2021 free agent signee Will Fuller. We all know by now that Smith played alongside Tua Tagovailoa, so he also brings an immediate level of chemistry to an offense that is hoping to see a huge step forward from its franchise quarterback. Smith would also provide Miami a long-term #1 at the position. Parker showed in 2019 that he can be the top dog in the wide receiver room, but the oft-injured playmaker has trouble staying on the field and is entering the back-nine of his career. With Fuller only on a one-year deal, Smith would ensure that Miami has a bona fide star at the position for years to come.