DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
W: 195 lbs
Smith has quick and active feet that allow him to create initial space early in his routes. He is excellent on in-breaking routes, like ins and slants, due to his quick feet. Smith also excels on hesitation routes with great stutter releases. He has a diverse route running tree and is very smooth in his routes. Overall, Smith is a good route runner from a technical standpoint. He has extremely reliable hands and is not afraid of making catches in traffic. Smith’s best attributes may come after the catch, as he displays fantastic vision and good long speed. He consistently makes the first tackler miss with a certain kind of slipperiness as he weaves in and around defenders. While not being the most explosive or agile athlete, Smith finds a way to avoid would-be tacklers.
Smith’s biggest weakness is also the first thing you notice about him: he has a very thin frame. This hasn’t really affected him to this point, he still works through presses and contact on deep routes, but it will be a much bigger hurdle in the NFL. While Smith generally wins his routes early due to his quickness, if he doesn’t and his route is contested, he will get bullied at the catch point.
Smith is a smooth and efficient route runner with a diverse a route tree. He is tough to tackle after the catch due to his vision with the ball in his hands and the slippery nature of his game. He excels on ins and slants, quickly gaining separation with his quick and active feet. The deficiencies in Smith’s game mainly come from his rail-thin frame. He struggles to fight through contact at the catch point. While he hasn’t really been affected by pressing cornerbacks or in his long routes down the sideline, the NFL will be a completely different story. Smith is a first-round wide receiver prospect in his abilities. He needs to add muscle or NFL defenders will have their way with him.