PHILADELPHIA – DeVonta Smith is no heavyweight but the former Alabama star sure put together some powerful production for the Crimson Tide, amassing over 1,800 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns en route to the Heisman Trophy and a national championship in 2020.
It took some prodding during the Crimson Tide’s Pro Day availability on Monday, but Smith finally admitted that he weighed 170 pounds, a big question mark regarding his top-10 draft status.
Somehow, though, he is in the equation to be just that, along with two other WRs, his teammate Jaylen Waddle and Ja’Marr Chase of LSU.
The Eagles are expected to consider all three if available at No. 6 overall.
Smith would be an interesting choice as a connection for Jalen Hurts, once a Smith teammate in Tuscaloosa before a grad transfer to Oklahoma where the quarterback was the runner-up to 2019 Heisman winner Joe Burrow.
Hurts and Smith played together at Alabama for two seasons and the Eagles’ projected starting QB was the man for the Crimson Tide when Smith arrived as a freshman. The two remain close and spoke ahead of Smith’s Pro Day and playing together in Philadelphia did come up.
“Me and Jalen, we did talk recently, not just about [playing together], but just how the process and things are going,” Smith said. “And how’s my training been going, and catching up on life things and stuff like that.”
Of course, Smith could also land in Miami with Tua Tagovailoa, his QB from 2019, while Mac Jones, his 2020 signal-caller could be a fellow first-round pick this April. Such is life with Nick Saban and Alabama.
Wherever Smith lands will almost surely feature some Crimson Tide-tint,
“It will be a blessing just to hear any team call my name,” he said.
Smith’s production at Alabama was other-worldly but most scouts have placed him behind Chase and Waddle at the top of the draft due to his lack of size and the Louisiana native wasn’t exactly keen on talking about his weight which had been listed at 165, after losing weight during the Tide’s season.
Some have mentioned the success of DeSean Jackson when pointing to Smith but the ex-Eagles receiver, who just signed with his hometown Los Angeles Rams, was also a second-round selection at No. 49 overall back in 2008, not a potential top-10 pick.
Smith’s floor in the first round is the top half despite the questions over his weight and he will let his tape speak for itself, passing on any on-field work at the pro day set for Tuesday.
As the top program in college football, Alabama had plenty of other potential pro talents on hand, including center Landon Dickerson who admitted he met with the Eagles.
All-Pro center Jason Kelce is returning for the 2021 season for Philadelphia, but the veteran has admitted continuing his career is a year-by-year proposition at this point, and finding the heir apparent has to be on Jeff Stoutland’s mind.
There are plenty of in-house candidates, including second-year undrafted free agent Luke Juriga as well as Nate Herbig, who can play all three interior line positions, and even starting left guard Isaac Seumano, a versatile player whose best position was projected to be center by the Eagles, at least early in his career.
Dickerson, who started his college career at Florida State before moving to Alabama as a grad transfer, tore his right ACL in the SEC Championship Game against Florida but did dress for the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and entered the game for the final snap of Alabama’s 52-24 win over Ohio State.
“Honestly, I don’t know how much I’ll be doing at Pro Day (on Tuesday),” said Dickerson, the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center. “Reassuring teams doesn’t need to come from what I do on the field. They can watch the film and see if they want me or not. They can also talk to our trainers and doctors if they want to figure out more in detail.
“It’s going really good. I’m right on schedule. I’m right where I want to be. Couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Along with the Eagles, Dickerson also mentioned meetings with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Thursday on The Middle with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, former Eagles OT Barrett Brooks streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and SportsMap Radio. John is also the host of his own show “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.