2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR DeVonta Smith

Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


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.   

Ideal Role: Smith is an ideal Z receiver who can operate to the field, but also has the versatility to play along the boundary as an X receiver and take advantage of mismatches in the slot.

Scheme Fit: Smith has the versatility to fit in many types of offenses. His most ideal fit is in a West Coast offense where he can operate quickly and take full advantage of his route-running skills. That scheme would also get the ball in his hands fast in order to showcase his run after catch abilities.

Written by Jordan Reid

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Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Jordan Reid is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Gaining experience from various lenses of the game, he has previously served as a college quarterback, position coach, and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He now serves as a Color Commentator for FloSports, covering both high school and college football games around the country while also being the host of The Reid Option Podcast.

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