After DeVonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy, he stepped in front of a microphone and reminded young football players to keep working hard, no matter their physical limitations.
“To all the young kids out there that’s not the biggest, not the strongest: just keep pushing,” the 22-year-old wide receiver said.
Although Smith’s words were inspiring and heartfelt, it’s now his own size that’s becoming the subject of concern.
The former Alabama wide receiver got the attention of the football world by declining to be measured or weighed on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl. The decision caused some concern among NFL personalities, including analyst Bucky Brooks, who weighed in on Smith’s size approaching the 2021 draft.
“DeVonta Smith is a great player but the size is a major concern,” Brooks tweeted on Tuesday morning. “It’s hard for some scouts to envision drafting a 170 pound WR at the top of the board… We haven’t seen a lot of “skinny” WRs dominate the pro game. It is what it is..”
DeVonta Smith is a great player but the size is a major concern. It’s hard for some scouts to envision drafting a 170 pound WR at the top of the board… We haven’t seen a lot of “skinny” WRs dominate the pro game. It is what it is.. #NFL #NFLDraft https://t.co/a8CCXR8v5u
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) January 26, 2021
Alabama listed Smith at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, while most scouts acknowledged that he came in closer to 170 pounds last year. Although it’s possible that his weight is down immediately following the season, the decision to decline a measurement worried NFL teams who hope for the young wide receiver to be durable when he comes into the league.
Smith’s small frame didn’t prevent him from putting together a record-breaking season in 2020. The senior wideout caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns in just 13 games last season on the way to a national title. He looked like a star in the making and joined the ranks of a talented wide receiver class making the jump to the NFL.
Although Smith’s size may illicit some concern over the next few months, it’s difficult to find a wide receiver with skills like him. Bulk can be added, but NFL teams will be hard pressed to pass on the wide receiver’s natural speed and ability.