Devin Smith: Prospect Breakdown (with GIFs)
Pros, Cons, and a Summary of Devin Smith
Oct 26, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) runs the ball against Penn State Nittany Lions safety Adrian Amos (4) at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 63-14. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
- Elite speed, possible low 4.3 range
- Big time deep threat
- Tracks/locates ball extremely well
- Consistently wins at the high point
- Excellent vertical
- Great hands
- Ability to pickup yards after catch
- Can return kicks, punts and play in ST coverage
- Limited route tree
- Inconsistent on routes other than primary four
- Below average size (6’0″, 196 pounds)
- Needs improvement on release in press coverage
- Poor blocker, and not very willing in this area
Devin Smith was a fairly easy prospect to grade. Where he wins and where he doesn’t is pretty black and white.
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He’s a big-time deep threat that can kill defenses with his speed, which is expected to be right on the 4.3 bubble in the 40-yard dash.
Not only is he fast, but he tracks the ball in air extremely well, and he wins at the high-point consistently. Especially for a player of his stature.
When it comes to players who can score anytime they touch the football, they don’t get much better than Smith. He scored a touchdown every four receptions by average, best in College Football. He also averaged 20.7 yards per catch, second best among all WR prospects in this draft class.
The big concern with Smith is that he might be a one-trick pony. That may not be such a bad thing, considering how good he is at that one trick.
But before anyone rights him off as such, to be fair, he was not asked to run that many different routes at Ohio State. He basically ran one of four routes – Go, Screen, Slant and Hitch.
For that reason, he should receive an “incomplete” or “TBD” grade when it comes to his route-running. The knock is more that he did not run the routes, not that he is incapable of running them.
Given his athleticism, this is definitely an area that Smith can, and will likely improve.
The other question for Smith is how well his strengths will transfer at the next level.
Defensive backs are of course much faster, and much more physical in the NFL than they are at the College level, so Smith may not be able to win these deep balls as well as he did at Ohio State.
As far as his fit with the Oakland Raiders goes, he is a very intriguing option if available at the top of the second round.
Right now, Smith is getting some first round hype, but as talented as this WR class is, it’s very possible he falls to pick 35.
Depending on what other WR’s are on the board, and what Oakland does in Free Agency and/or with their first round pick, Smith would be a great choice in the second round, if selected.
If the Raiders want to surround Carr with some weapons, selecting Smith with pick 35, and pairing him with a running back like Duke Johnson in the third round would make the offense instantly dynamic.