2021 NFL Draft: Devonta Smith needs to press his case for top-15

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2021 NFL Draft prospect DeVonta Smith

2021 NFL Draft prospect DeVonta Smith(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DeVonta Smith needs to improve in one area as the 2021 NFL Draft is next

DeVonta Smith could have been one of the first wide receivers off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft had he joined Alabama teammates Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III in declaring. Instead, he elected to return to Tuscaloosa and has the talent to be one of the first wide receivers off the board come next April in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Smith produced at an elite level in the SEC last season, emerging as a favorite target for Tua Tagovailoa as he racked up 1,256 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior for the Crimson Tide.

After seeing both Jeudy and Ruggs go in the top15 of this year’s draft, Smith will harbor the same ambition and the 2019 tape indicates he has a skillset worthy of being taken within the first half of the first round.

However, if Smith is to replicate the achievement of Jeudy and Ruggs in 2021, he may need to shine in a unique college season in which Alabama is set to play a conference-only schedule and eradicate flaws that could threaten his status as one of the class’s premier talents at the receiver position.

Here we look at where Smith excels and where he needs to improve going into his senior campaign.

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