Alabama won the national title on Monday night, hanging 52 on a previously unbeaten Ohio State team that went into the game down a couple of starters before losing running back Trey Sermon in the first quarter.
Full strength tOSU likely would not have mattered too much, because ‘Bama was favored to win the game regardless, and the Tide got a monster performance out of Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who caught 12 passes for 225 yards while scoring three touchdowns. Ironically, Smith did most of that damage in the first half, as he later injured his finger and was forced to the sidelines for treatment and evaluation.
This was an incredible game from the 6’1″, 175 pound receiver, who might be an Eagles possibility at #6 overall. He absolutely will not be available at #9, so it’s a good thing the Birds decided to lose to Washington in the season finale, instead of damaging their draft position to honor the “integrity of the game” or some other such bullshit that helps the Giants, but not the Eagles.
Look at the numbers Smith put up this season:
23 touchdowns? 1,856 yards? Those are incredible stats.
If you go down most mock drafts, the consensus is that you’re gonna have a couple of quarterbacks coming off the board in the top five. Trevor Lawrence and perhaps Justin Fields and/or Zach Wilson could be the selections. That leaves tackle Penei Sewell as a fourth prospect for selection.
The question is whether Smith makes it past the Dolphins at #3 overall, which he perhaps will not. But, if Lawrence, Fields, Sewell, Smith, and Wilson round out the top five, that leaves the Eagles sitting there at #6 overall with Ja’Marr Chase on the board, and while he opted out this past season, he won the national title with LSU in 2019 while catching 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was Joe Burrow’s #1 target that season.
The preference for Eagles fans, just taking temperatures on social media, seems to be Smith, who is an excellent route runner and has great hands and dynamic playmaking ability. The one negative thing about him is that he really is not a big guy. He’s only 175 pounds and has a relatively light frame. Jalen Reagor, for comparison, has more than 15 pounds on Smith, who is built more like DeSean Jackson.
Chase is larger. He’s 6’1″, about 208 pounds, and has more of that NFL body type. He’ll go up and grab contested catches and can take a little bit more punishment and contact, though Smith does a fantastic job against press coverage and finds ways to separate and attack space.
That’s a story for another time, a deeper dive comparing Chase and Smith, but in the meantime, let’s just watch the highlights and appreciate the fact that Eagles could quite possible get a shot at the latter at #6 overall:
🔥 12 Rec
🔥 215 Rec Yds
🔥 3 TDs
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 12, 2021