Had a lively Tuesday morning debate on Twitter about DeVonta Smith and whether the Eagles should take him with the sixth pick.
The conversation was sparked when Smith declined to be weighed and measured at the Senior Bowl, which will be played on Saturday at 2:30 and televised on The NFL Network.
Alabama lists the Heisman Trophy winner and stud WR at 6-1, 174, and, as Tommy Lawlor pointed out on Twitter, schools don’t usually fudge heights and weights very much anymore. Michael Campagnaro responded by listing ’Bama players from last year who attended the NFL Scouting Combine and noted the heights and weights were similar to what Alabama had listed.
Now, that’s good news when it comes to say Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, who could be a top 10 pick and maybe even the sixth pick (?) and who is listed at 6-5, 311, but not so much for Smith.
There is no question that size is a concern with the receiver. It’s not so much the height, even though 6-1 may be inflated by an inch, it’s the weight.
Would he be able to withstand the rigors of a 17-game season?
I pulled in an expert, Ric Serritella, founder of the NFL Draft Bible (Twitter: @NFLDraftBible), for more.
In his first mock draft this past weekend, Serritella has the Eagles taking Smith with the sixth pick, though he is becoming concerned about Smith’s weight, which Serritella said he and his network of scouts have been told is 164 pounds.
“A thin frame like that can be somewhat of a legitimate concern at the next level,” he said. “You saw it with Jon Ross, you saw it with Henry Ruggs. A little bit of a risk-reward factor here.”
You can put weight on, said some Twitter responders, but as Serritella points out if it were so easy, then why hasn’t Smith done it?
Additionally, Jalen Reagor gained about 10 pounds leading into last year’s Combine and may have robbed him of some of his speed.
Serritella also dished on Ja’Marr Chase, the Fred Biletnikoff winner from 2019 who sat out LSU’s season last year. He had Chase, who is listed as 6-0, 209 pounds, going prior to the sixth pick in his mock.
“If you take the height (of Smith and Chase), it’s pretty much the same, then you look at the frame and you see one guy is a grown man and Smith is a skinny, scrawny guy,” said Serritella. “Look at the legs, look at the ankles then you start getting worried.”
All of Serritella’s comments are worth hearing in the accompanying video.
Also, scout Matt Miller (Twitter: @nfldraftscout) recently posted a list of WRs taken in the top 10 since 2010 and here they are:
Some good names, but some misses, too.
Miller also posted a list of WRs taken outside the top 10 who were the league's top pass catchers in 2020:
1. Stefon Diggs / Rd5
2. Davante Adams / Rd2
3. DeAndre Hopkins / Rd1
4. Allen Robinson / Rd2
5. Keenan Allen / Rd3
6. Tyler Lockett / Rd3
7. JuJu Smith-Schuster / Rd2
8. Robby Anderson / UDFA
9. Amari Cooper / Rd1
10. Cooper Kupp / Rd3
Miller certainly makes a case for the Eagles waiting until perhaps day two to take receiver in a draft that is considered good for WRs.
The Eagles must also be careful not to take a similar path to that of Matt Millen. The former GM of the Detroit Lions from 2002 through 2008 took receivers for three straight years in the top 10 - Charles Rogers (second overall) in 2003, Roy Williams (seventh) in 2004, and Mike Williams (10th) in 2005. None panned out.
Then, in 2007, Millen tried again and finally getting it right, using the second overall pick to take Calvin Johnson.
The Eagles took Reagor in the first-round last year and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round of the 2019 draft.
Do they dip back into that prime real estate again by taking the same position this year?
To be determined, though judging by the interactions on Twitter so far, a good segment of Eagles fans would take a flying leap off the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge if Smith isn't the pick.
This certainly won’t be the last analysis of taking a WR with the sixth pick, or it will be the last Twitter debate with Eagles fans.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.