More Sports:

June 02, 2024

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: WR Ainias Smith

Smith looks to be a solid route runner with run after catch potential, a bit like Olamide Zaccheaus.

Eagles NFL
042724AiniasSmith Maria Lysaker/USA TODAY Sports

New Eagles WR Ainias Smith.

As we do every offseason, we'll be comparing each of the Philadelphia Eagles' rookies to current or former NFL players. Today we'll find a comp for fifth-round wide receiver Ainias Smith.


CB Quinyon Mitchell | DB Cooper DeJean | EDGE Jalyx Hunt | RB Will Shipley | WR Ainias Smith

Smith is a versatile weapon who played some running back in addition to receiver at Texas A&M, and he averaged 15.0 yards per catch in 2023. The Eagles like his ability as a route runner, and as a runner after the catch. Additionally, if Kellen Moore is going to bring some creativity to the Eagles, Smith is a guy who can be effective on jet sweeps and other gadget'y plays. Some highlights:

Smith's career stats aren't eye-popping. His best season was in 2023, when he had 53 catches for 795 yards (15.0 YPC) and 2 TDs, but he was a standout during Senior Bowl practices. He also has added value as a returner. He had 82 career punt returns for 836 yards (10.2 YPR) and he took two to the house.

Because of an injury, Smith did not work out at the Combine, aside from the bench press, where he put up an impressive 21 reps. He did participate at Texas A&M's pro day while still rehabbing a stress fracture in his shin. He ran a 4.47 40 and posted a decent 6.86 time in the 3-cone drill. It's probably fair to assume he'd have performed even better if fully healthy.

He reminds me a little of old friend Olamide Zaccheaus, a small slot receiver with good-not-elite speed who runs good routes and has some run after catch ability (even if the Eagles didn't get him the ball much in 2023). Like Smith, Zaccheaus also had some running back in his background in college (Virginia), where he got 79 career carries. Smith got 72 career carries at Texas A&M. 

Smith's size and athleticism measurables are a little better than Zaccheaus', with Smith also probably having higher athletic potential once he is fully healthy:

Measurable Ainias Smith Olamide Zaccheaus 
 Height5'9 3/8"5'8 1/4"
 Weight 190  188 
 40 time 4.47  4.49 
 3-cone 6.86  7.00 
Vertical jump   38.5"  33" 
 Broad jump 122"  124" 

Zacchaeus also had some return experience in college, but wasn't nearly as effective (or experienced) as Smith is heading into the pros.

Next up: LB Jeremiah Trotter.

Noteworthy NFL date June 1 is here: What does it mean for the Eagles?

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader