In a loaded 2021 NFL Draft class, DeVonta Smith is a rare prospect that sticks out like a sore thumb. He is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy award since Desmond Howard in 1991, signaling his absolute dominance at his position and value to the champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Sticking out is not limited to performance though, as Smith is a rail-thin player with lanky limbs.
Now that he is fully into the draft process and scouts are analyzing his ability, that lanky frame is a hot topic for evaluators, especially as he participates in the 2021 Senior Bowl. Smith is arguably a top five player at his position, but some have strong questions about his stock due to the size concerns. He did not do much to dispel those concerns after today’s weigh-ins:
Why DeVonta Smith refused weigh-ins
The question regarding why he would avoid weigh-ins is the burning one to ask so far. There are many considerations for why he chose the path he did.
First of all, Smith could be refusing a weigh-in as part of a greater plan to add weight to his frame. With the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine removed due to COVID-19 concerns, it gives players some extra time to work on aspects of their game that scouts would be concerned about. Smith could be waiting to complete a weigh-in during his virtual pro-day, hoping to achieve a stronger weight number to help remove concerns.
Second, Smith could simply be standing pat on his performance not only this past season, but on his entire college career. Winning the Heisman Trophy is a massive accomplishment, but his resume speaks for itself beyond that. In total, “Smitty” has racked up 235 receptions for 3,965 receiving yards and 46 receiving touchdowns. No one can blame him for leaning on that.
Third, DeVonta Smith could be avoiding weigh-ins because he required surgery on a broken finger he suffered in the National Championship. No doubt sitting out while he recovers from the surgery, the lack of working out could affect his weight total negatively, causing him to be lighter than even that previously mentioned175 pound listing.
The real weight is already in his stock
Regardless of the plan, let the overreaction begin. Reservations about his size should be held in check. Scouts, evaluators and draft fans alike are commenting on his refusal to weigh-in as if it should be a strong red flag against his talents. But his stat line and the way he wins from the line of scrimmage are just some of the traits that should be the focus of his overall scouting grade.
“Slim Reaper” is one of the greatest receiver prospects seen in some time, and the excitement should not be overlooked because he is a little skinny.