Despite a Heisman Trophy winning season in 2020, wide receiver DeVonta Smith has been the target of scrutiny for the last few weeks. Analysts and fans alike are unsure if the 6-foot-1, 170 pound wideout has the body to play in the NFL.
Smith stirred up controversy about his size when he declined to be measured or weighed at the annual Senior Bowl. Since then the Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver has seen his stock plummet in recent mock drafts.
However, not everyone is ready hop off of the Smith success wagon just yet. Former NFL wideout and current analyst Nate Burleson jumped to his defense, comparing the Alabama wide receiver to another slight pass-catcher that quickly succeeded at the professional level.
“He’s going to make an impact just like (Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver) AJ Green did,” Burleson said during a Thursday appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. “I know it’s a lot of talk about DeVonta and being a slight wide receiver. Remember when AJ Green came in? Look at his body. Look at his frame. Isn’t it very similar? By the way, he was cooking his rookie year. My dude had 65 catches, over 1,000 yards right out of the gate that led all rookies, and the same draft that had Julio Jones. Before you start talking about how skinny this guy might be, you don’t get a nickname out there like Slim Reaper unless you’re out there killing DBs. He will make an impact right away.”
What do you think? Are other people making too big of a deal about DeVonta Smith's size going into the NFL?https://t.co/UjtYcFSij9
— RadioAlabama Sports (@RadioALSports) February 11, 2021
Burleson’s comparison isn’t quite exact, but Green certainly had his doubters coming out of Georgia. Since then he’s gone on to make seven Pro Bowls and at one point, rank among the best receivers in the league.
Smith boasts plenty of other talents that can make-up for his size. The 22-year-old, Alabama star, is a sure-handed pass-catcher, talented route runner and extremely quick, which should cover up for his physical limitations.
Any NFL team in dire need of an outside wide-receiver would be wise to give Smith a long look this April.