Patriots: 3 wide receivers Pats should draft in 2021
By Jerry Trotta
1. Devonta Smith
Alabama WR Devonta Smith is posting otherworldly numbers as a senior.
We’ve been on the Devonta Smith bandwagon for three years now and his maturation during that span has truly been a delight to watch unfold. After playing second (sometimes third and fourth) fiddle to some generational talents across his first three seasons in Tuscaloosa, the Alabama star has announced himself as college football’s undisputed best receiver.
Through nine games, he ranks second in the country in receptions (80), first in receiving yards (1,305) and second in touchdowns (19). Even more impressive is the torrid run Smith has been on over the last four games, averaging 8.7 receptions for 187 yards and 2.7 touchdowns.
Smith is incredibly impressive at the point of the catch for a player of his size (6-foot), and is as slippery as any receiver in the nation with the ball in his hands. Entering this season, he dropped just six passes on a whopping 123 catchable targets, according to Pro Football Focus.
The only concern with Smith is that he only weighs 175 pounds, but we fully believe that he’ll tack on some weight between now and the draft. Even if he still leaves a lot to be desired in that department come April, his weight shouldn’t deter teams who rate him highly. After all, an NFL diet and workout program could be just what he needs to undergo the “transformation” many draft analysts seem to think he needs.