My Team Needs:
LB, EDGE, WR, IOL, S, IDL, RB
Second Round (61st overall): Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Weight: 175 lbs
This decision may be a surprise for a few people because I didn’t take an edge rusher but there wasn’t one on the board worth a second-round pick. The bad teams reach for players because of need while the good teams take the best player available while still addressing a need and that’s exactly what I did here. DeVonta Smith would be an awesome addition to this Lamar Jackson led offense and a nice complement to Marquise Brown.
Smith isn’t a burner like Marquise Brown as he reportedly ran a 4.46 40-yard dash in 2017, but I expect that to be a little faster when the combine comes around. That time was recorded before Smith played a down for Alabama… so through practice and strength training, there are reasons to be optimistic about him running in the low 4.40’s or high 4.30’s.
What makes Smith such an interesting prospect to me is his masterful route running and that’s what this offense is missing. Brown brings unbelievable speed and nice route running but we need a route technician and Smith provides that. Due to his pristine route running, he makes it easy on the quarterback because he’s always where the quarterback expects him to be. That’s important because it means he catches the ball in stride and his post-catch decision-making is one of his most recognizable qualities. Not to mention he has incredible vertical skills while catching the ball, especially over the shoulder.
Some will say the Ravens don’t need another “small” receiver but if Smith adds some weight to his 6’1″ frame he’ll show us some remnants of DeAndre Hopkins. They have very similar playing styles and Hopkins is Smith’s ceiling in my opinion. Route running is such an amazing skill set to have in a wide receiver and Hopkins has proved that it goes under the radar too often.
If you want to see what DeVonta Smith can offer, just take a look at this highlight from the Alabama v. LSU game this past weekend. His body control is phenomenal, and he could be a steal late in the 2020 NFL Draft.