Despite an injured Tua Tagovailoa, opposing defensive backs had to pick their poison of which Alabama receiver would do the least amount of damage to them. Unfortunately, the quartet of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith all were equally dangerous.
Jeudy was the Fred Biletnikoff Award winner in 2018 and the duo of Ruggs and Waddle have tremendous speed; however, it was Smith that frustrated defenses in 2019. He has two career game-winning touchdown receptions, but there are still moments where he gets overlooked.
The Louisiana native put an end to the nonsense last year, as he led the Crimson Tide in receiving yards (1,256) and scores (14) on 68 catches.
Smith totaled three 100-yard performances – including career marks versus Mississippi (274) and LSU (213).
Even in defeat, the former four-star cooked Tigers’ secondary on an average of 30.4 yards per reception and posted two touchdowns. His 85-yard score versus Derek Stingley in the fourth quarter pulled Alabama to within five points of LSU.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has proven to be a sound route runner, clutch playmaker in critical moments and an unselfish blocker as well.
Regardless of Jeudy and Ruggs being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, Jim Nagy – the Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl – felt Smith was Alabama’s ‘most complete’ receiver last season.
Alabama WR Devonta Smith is proof that measurables don’t always matter. Smith might only weigh 170 and clock low-4.5 but and he is wiry strong and his field speed just different. The @seniorbowl felt @DeVontaSmith_6 was Bama’s most complete WR last year. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/giCKpVXhsA
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) May 21, 2020
Nagy, an ESPN draft analyst, has also been an NFL scout for 18 years.
He has very deceptive speed, but his route tree, toughness, intelligence and ability to come up with timely plays in huge moments is what makes Smith a first-round talent. His decision to return for his senior year will provide him with an invitation to participate at the Senior Bowl.
The Tide has had a few players that helped their stock at the event.
For now, Smith has been perfecting his craft and getting ready for the fall.
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