In Sporting News’ latest 2021 NFL mock draft — revealed proper earlier than Alabama’s 52-24 drubbing of Ohio State within the Faculty Soccer Playoff nationwide championship sport on Monday night time — Heisman Trophy-winning extensive reciever DeVonta Smith was a agency top-10 choose.
After Smith helped the Crimson Tide roll with 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all within the first half of that sport, there’s a greater probability of him going within the prime 5.
Smith has been the consensus No. 2 wideout prospect for some time, leaping teammate Jaylen Waddle. Now, the query is whether or not Smith has usurped LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase — who opted out of the 2020 school soccer season after his group’s nationwide championship run a 12 months in the past — as the perfect receiver on the board.
Figuring out that potential and understanding the draft order by No. 24 total, this is taking a look at the place Smith (6-1, 175 kilos) is almost definitely to finish up as a dynamic NFL rookie:
DeVonta Smith’s finest draft touchdown spots
No. 2: New York Jets
The Jaguars can be locking into Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the prime. The Jets have been strongly connected to Ohio State’s Justin Fields at No. 2, however there’s additionally discuss of them contemplating a deal with or one other offensive place, sticking with Sam Darnold and giving him larger assist for whoever replaces Adam Gase as head coach.
Fields went off towards Clemson within the CFP semifinal to solidify his inventory, however watching Smith dominate on the identical area as Fields may make the Jets deviate from QB and OT, understanding the group did take Mekhi Becton for the latter place within the 2020 first spherical. The Jets additionally drafted Denzel Mims final season, however Breshad Perriman is a free agent after his first, injury-riddled season in New York. Pairing Smith with Mims, with Jamison Crowder within the slot, cannot be dominated out as that could possibly be the huge increase Darnold wants.
No. 3: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have this choose courtesy of the Texans, due to their commerce of Professional Bowl deal with Laremy Tunsil. Assuming they do not use it as a part of a rumored blockbuster trade for the Texans’ Deshaun Watson and half methods with Tua Tagovailoa, too, they need to take into account getting a playmaker for Tagovailoa who generally is a nice complement to DeVante Parker.
Chase has been a preferred choose for them due to his versatility, the place he can play between Parker and the promising however oft-injured Preston Williams. With Chan Gailey gone as offensive coordinator, the Dolphins ought to flip to somebody who makes higher use of true 11 personnel for Tagovailoa (three extensive receivers). So it might make sense for them to consider reuniting Smith with Tagovailoa.
No. 5: Cincinnati Bengals
The Falcons, who choose fourth, have two particular former Alabama extensive receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. As tempting as it might be so as to add a 3rd to assist Matt Ryan, that group must suppose protection first for its new coach.
As for the Bengals, the considering has been to improve go safety for second-year franchise QB Joe Burrow with Oregon deal with Penei Sewell, ought to he nonetheless be out there. However with A.J. Inexperienced unsigned for his Age 33 season, it additionally would make sense to place Smith reverse second-year second-rounder Tee Higgins, with Tyler Boyd nonetheless working with them within the slot. Smith’s pace and quickness would play nicely off Higgins’ measurement all around the area.
No. 6: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are a giant wild card within the draft, now that offensive-minded head coach Doug Pederson has been fired on the heels of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz deciding to not return. They want some key assistance on each side of the ball, and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is an efficient mesh of expertise and wish right here.
However after taking speedy Jalen Reagor within the first spherical final 12 months, it would not be stunning in the event that they go after a second playmaker for the surface and clear up a large number of fading, hurting veterans (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson) and a few disappointing youth (J.J Arcega-Whiteside). Reagor, absolutely changing Jackson because the “Z” and Smith taking up “X” could be a pleasant mixture, particularly if the latter is reunited with Jalen Hurts, whereas preserving Greg Ward as the selection “Y” for the slot.
No. 7: Detroit Lions
That is the place Smith goes in SN’s newest mock with Marvin Jones Jr. heading into free company as he turns 32 for subsequent season. Jones had a powerful 12 months because the wanted No. 1 with Kenny Golladay shelved for many of it with a hip damage. Whether or not it is extra Matthew Stafford or a brand new QB with a brand new coach, the Lions ought to see how Smith would work nicely off Golladay. There’s additionally an opportunity the Lions do not re-sign Golladay, leaving a giant void at wideout and making a number of both Smith or Chase an absolute should.
No. 11: New York Giants (by way of a commerce up)
The Panthers at No. 8 must suppose quarterback first. The Broncos at No. 9 simply took Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy within the first spherical final 12 months and can get Courtland Sutton again. The Cowboys at No. 10 will not be going extensive receiver once more after taking Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb within the first spherical final 12 months.
In the meantime, behind all of them, the Giants have each motive to get aggressive to get a top-flight wideout for Daniel Jones in Yr 3. They’d be candidates for a giant free-agent signing equivalent to Golladay if he makes it to the open market. But when not, Dave Gettleman ought to take into consideration leaping up a number of spots to seize Smith. Sterling Shepard is a powerful No. 2, however Darius Slayton would not profile as an all-around No. 1. Smith can begin outdoors because the “X,” with Slayton because the deep menace “Z” and Shepard transferring into the slot to switch robust minimize candidate Golden Tate.