When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, many hoped that his Alabama connection with Jalen Hurts would immediately pay dividends.
However, Smith doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.
In an interview prior to the start of Eagles rookie minicamp, the former Crimson Tide receiver made it sound like he doesn’t want to bank solely on his past connection with Hurts in Philadelphia. Instead, Smith wants to continue building on the relationship that the two have by learning how each of them have grown in their time apart.
“It can only help so much. You have to continue that. So we have to continue building from that,” Smith said during an Eagles press conference on Wednesday press. “I mean, just because we had that connection in college doesn’t mean that it’s the same now. We’ve both grown as players. We both have things that we’ve added to our game. So we have to build from that and get better. I feel like whatever we did in college, it has nothing to do with now because things have changed over time.”
DeVonta Smith: Alabama connection with Jalen Hurts can only help so much. https://t.co/keZSIxWwXB
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 12, 2021
Smith and Hurts played together in Tuscaloosa in 2017 and 2018, but have split up for the past few years. Prior to Smith’s emergence as a top-notch wide receiver, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma and landed in the NFL with the Eagles. Meanwhile, the rookie wideout played with two other quarterbacks before winning the Heisman Trophy this past season.
However, Smith called Hurts “my guy” earlier this offseason and cited the former Crimson Tide quarterback as a major player in his own recruitment process. The two clearly are close, so will just need time to re-acclimate to one another on the field.
The Eagles top brass will hope to see that connection flourish in year one, but may have to wait to see Smith and Hurts start firing on all cylinders.