After trading back from the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles moved up to the 10th overall pick from the 12th pick, selecting DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy-winning receiver out of Alabama. The Philadelphia Eagles swapped first-round picks and the 84th overall pick acquired from the Indianapolis Colts as part of the Carson Wentz trade.
The shocking move to swap picks with a divisional rival marks the second consecutive year, Eagles general manager, Howie Roseman selected a receiver in the first round of the draft. While Smith was the third receiver selected in the 2021 NFL Draft behind Ja’Marr Chase and teammate Jaylen Waddle, Smith has one of the highest ceilings in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
The Philadelphia Eagles pair the Heisman Trophy-winning receiver with former Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts. Philadelphia has been looking for a game-changing receiver since the departure of Terrell Owens and finally lands a star with the former Heisman Trophy winner. DeVonta Smith became the first receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991 on route to an Alabama title.
After the departure of Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs and an injury to Waddle, Smith stepped up as Mac Jones’s top receiver in a stacked unit at Alabama. The two accounted for 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns, leading to a significant rise in their 2021 NFL Draft status.
Smith is an incredibly talented route runner and is effective both in the slot and as a deep threat vertical option. Smith’s combination of speed, route running, and ability to shake defenders would generally make him an easy first-round selection. While his only knock entering the 2021 NFL Draft would be his size at 6-foot, 175 lbs., he has continued to dominate at every level and looks to be the next star to break the mold of the typical NFL receiver.
After the departures of Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles have put together a young receiver core between Smith and Jalen Reagor in a young but potentially explosive offense for the future.