Instant analysis: Eagles trade up for DeVonta Smith

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl Game Semifinal Game – Notre Dame v Alabama
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 01: Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Rose Bowl Game between Notre Dame and Alabama on January 1, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the world again on Thursday night. In a surprise trade-up with the Dallas Cowboys, Howie Roseman ensured that he landed a #1 receiver for Jalen Hurts. That man is Heisman winning wideout DeVonta Smith. Here is all you need to know.

The trade

The Eagles gave up pick #84 and pick #12 in order to move up to Dallas and snatch Smith from the clutches of the New York Giants. This comes on the back of Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II both going higher than expected. Roseman wasn’t going to lose his man for a third time in one night and aggressively moved up with a divisional rival to make it happen.

Welcome to the nest, DeVonta Smith

After posting back-to-back seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns, Smith exploded to the top of draft boards. He broke the single-season records set by Ja’Maar Chase in 2019 to win the Heisman last year, picking up an astonishing 1,856 yards and averaging 18.5 per catch.

His burst off the line is electric.Even with his slim frame, Smith has shown that he has a wide catch radius and can position himself to make those highlight-reel catches. The real concern comes with corners pressing him at the line of scrimmage and whether or not he’ll be able to get off without being re-routed or slowed down because of what he lacks in size. At 6’1, 166 lbs, Smith is certainly on the light side and there is some legitimate worry about if he will be able to soar as high at the NFL level.

Jalen Hurts is all in

He has the confidence of one man though, new QB and former Alabama teammate Jalen Hurts. The former second-round pick opened up about both Alabama wideouts on Adam Schefter’s podcast not too long ago, stating the following:

“DeVonta Smith is like a smooth criminal. Such a smooth route runner. He attacks the ball, has strong hands, and size is never an issue with him because he has such strong hands. He’s a hell of a player himself.”

DeVonta Smith would later praise Jalen Hurts, stating that he would love to play with his old QB again.

The duo etched quite the picture together, with Smith catching a game-winning touchdown against Mississippi State as a freshman with only 25 seconds to go. Who knows what they’ll be able to replicate at the NFL level. If nothing else, this move is an excellent way of providing Hurts with a familiar face and one who he will be able to strike a bond with very quickly going into his second season.

Trust in Nick Sirianni

The Eagles Head Coach is quite the WR whisperer and was adamant during a presser not too long ago that good X-receivers come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe this was foreshadowing? Sirianni will get to work with Smith on one side and likely Jalen Reagor on the other (for now).

This trade-up highlights a level of trust in the once WR coach to get the most out of his receivers as he has with names like Keenan Allen, Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal and Dwayne Bowe.

The Eagles will next be on the clock at pick #37 in the second round with coverage starting tomorrow at 7PM ET.

Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire