Eagles can’t afford to pass on DeVonta Smith in NFL Draft

DeVonta Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
DeVonta Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Philadelphia Eagles can solve their offensive woes by drafting Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

Monday was an eventful day for the Philadelphia Eagles, to say the least. After seemingly being safe for the 2021 season, reports indicated that head coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles organization agreed to part ways.

It’s no secret that there was a power struggle between Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz throughout the season, as reports indicated that their relationship was broken beyond repair. Owner Jeffrey Lurie ultimately took the side of his signal caller. While Wentz did himself no favors this year in terms of decision-making and ball security, he still has the trust from the Eagles owner. That, and he carries a $59.2 million dead cap hit if the team were to move him this offseason, which is a solid indicator that Wentz is staying no matter what. But once you put the Wentz factors aside while watching the Eagles play, it’s evident that they need some serious playmakers on offense.

If the Eagles want to help Wentz break out of his slump, then they need to do whatever it takes to select Alabama’s DeVonta Smith in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Smith a true difference maker on the field

When looking at the Eagles’ wide receiver corps, it doesn’t exactly instill much confidence. The jury’s still out on Jalen Reagor, who showed positive signs despite missing five games due to a variety of injuries. Veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery were relatively unreliable due to injuries. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside hasn’t been able to make the transition into the NFL and has plummeted down the team’s depth chart. Finally, there’s Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward, who both stepped up when called upon. But let’s face it, they’re not supposed to be the top receivers on an NFL squad.

The addition of Smith alone can be enrich the wideout group for the 2021 season. Smith doesn’t have the biggest frame (6-foot-1, 175-pounds) that professional teams covet in their wide receivers, but he silences those critics with his dominant play.

During his junior season in 2019, Smith recorded 68 receptions for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those were great numbers, but Smith managed to vastly exceed them in 2020. In 12 games, Smith caught 105 passes for an absurd 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns. Perhaps his best performance came in Alabama’s CFP Semifinal Game against Notre Dame on New Year’s Day, where he recorded seven receptions for 130 yards and three touchdowns. With that performance, Smith was named the Rose Bowl MVP.

Days after the 31-14 victory, Smith was named the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, becoming the first wide receiver to earn the honor since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.

Make no mistake about it, Smith is a certified playmaker that will thrive in the NFL. The Eagles, who hold the sixth-overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, are in good position to select him. Yet, they may have to trade up ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, who own the fifth-overall pick and would love to give quarterback Joe Burrow another receiver to target.

If the Eagles want to help solve their Carson Wentz dilemma, the easy solution is to add Devonta Smith to their depth chart.

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