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April 29, 2021

Eagles trade up, select Alabama WR DeVonta Smith with 10th pick of 2021 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL

With the 10th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Alabama WR DeVonta Smith. They traded up from the 12th spot with the Dallas Cowboys to get their guy. The trade:

 Eagles gotCowboys got 
 10th overall pick12th overall pick 
 84th overall pick 

The Eagles obviously felt like the Giants would have taken Smith, and were successfully able to jump them for the reasonable cost of their second third-round pick (84th overall). It's noteworthy that the Giants subsequently traded out of the 11th pick after the Eagles picked Smith.

In 2019, Smith led Alabama in receiving yards and TDs, despite playing alongside a pair of first-round picks in Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy.

Alabama WR: 2019 Rec Yards YPC TD 
DeVonta Smith 68 1,256 18.5 14 
Jerry Jeudy 77 1,163 15.1 10 
Henry Ruggs 40 746 18.6 
Jaylen Waddle 33 560 17.0 

Smith could have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he stayed in school for his senior season, which turned out to be a wise move, as he became a top 10 pick in the 2021 draft.

In 2020, Smith had a monster season. I mean, obviously. He was the Heisman trophy winner. On the season, he had 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 TDs. He also had a 21.5 yards per return average on 11 punt returns, including a TD.

Smith is a smooth route runner, he gobbles up yards after the catch, he has great hands, and he can make spectacular catches in traffic. The concern that teams are going to have about Smith is his lack of size, at a rail-thin 166 pounds. Can he beat jams at the line of scrimmage against big, physical corners? Can he be durable? Certainly, he plays much bigger than his slight frame, as you can see here.

The Eagles' depth chart at WR now looks something like this:

Eagles WRs 
 WRDeVonta Smith Travis Fulgham J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 
 WRJalen Reagor John Hightower Khalil Tate 
 SlotGreg Ward Quez Watkins  

The 2021 draft is off to a good start for the Birds.

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MORE: Highlights, scouting reports and more on new Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith | Updated Eagles 2021 NFL Draft board

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