While much of the speculation remains on the quarterbacks heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the top tier wide receivers will be another topic of debate as April approaches.
“He is 210 pounds and he has speed for days,” McShay said during a Saturday appearance on ESPN. “He averaged 21.2 yards per catch and I think his traits are a little bit better than Devonta Smith but again, he opted out this year. Devonta comes in this year, we knew he was a consistent guy. Their four wide receivers are going to be first round picks over two years and he’s been the most consistent throughout his career. What he did this year was remarkable. Jaylen Waddle goes down and the entire offense funnels through that wide receivers spot and Devonta Smith.
“He carried it on his shoulders and he carried that Alabama team and offense to the national championship game. So Devonta Smith certainly could be the first receiver taken but I’ve got them one and 1A if you will. Chase going first and then Smith going No. 7 to the Detroit Lions.”
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) February 13, 2021
McShay listed Chase going to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 6 just a pick before Smith.
The LSU wide receiver presents a few more unknowns after opting out of the 2020 season. However, as a sophomore in 2018, Chase was the best pass-catcher in college football. With Joe Burrow slinging him the ball, he caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.
On the other hand, Smith has seen his draft stock fall amidst rising concerns about his size. Listed at just 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, the 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner out of Alabama might not have the physicality to be durable at the NFL level. However, with his reliable hands and game-changing speed, Smith is certainly still worthy of a top-10 pick.
The debate over which wide receiver will be the better NFL talent is sure to rage on, right until draft night gets underway in late April.