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DeVonta Smith the Slim Reaper


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I'll admit. I might have misheard him.

https://twitter.com/fbgchase/status/1374168906118672387 Old FBG buddy Chase with some data. Worth reading the entire thread.    

Really hoping somebody takes him before I pick fourth in dynasty draft and either Chase or Etienne falls to me. I'm not sold on this guy's pro career. Nor am I sold on Etienne's, but that's a differen


 
Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings 1.0

Excerpt:

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7) DeVonta Smith, WR

School: Alabama | Year: Senior

Smith is a rail-thin wideout with long arms, excellent play speed and outstanding hands. He's a silky-smooth route runner who accelerates into and out of the break point, which creates an unusual amount of separation against quality competition. He has complete faith in his hands, allowing him to run through the ball (without gathering his feet) on underneath and intermediate crossers. His leaping ability and length creates some special high-point grabs. He has a second gear after the catch and surprising toughness to break tackles. He competes as a blocker, too. People inside the Alabama program rave about his character, work ethic and professionalism. Smith should emerge as a high-volume weapon as soon as his cleats hit an NFL field.

 

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On 1/26/2021 at 1:00 PM, MAC_32 said:

...and Chase was splitting time with Justin Jefferson and Terrance Marshall. Chase broke out in a crowded WR room aged 19 - Devonta age 21. I think considering the why behind Devonta's late breakout matters and this is still just one metric to consider, but when evaluating this particular one the answer is quite clear.

Is isn't clear to me. In your opinion why did Devonta Smith not break out until his age 21 season?

That would depend on what you consider to be a breakout performance or not. Where are those thresholds? 

*2017	Alabama	SEC	FR	WR	8	8	160	20.0	3	0	0		0	8	160	20.0	3
*2018	Alabama	SEC	SO	WR	13	42	693	16.5	6	0	0		0	42	693	16.5	6
*2019	Alabama	SEC	JR	WR	13	68	1256	18.5	14	0	0		0	68	1256	18.5	14
*2020	Alabama	SEC	SR	WR	13	117	1856	15.9	23	4	6	1.5	1	121	1862	15.4	24

In 2018 Alabama receivers:

10	Jerry Jeudy					68	1315	19.3	14	68	1315	19.3	14
11	Henry Ruggs III					46	741	16.1	11	46	741	16.1	11
12	Jaylen Waddle					45	848	18.8	7	45	848	18.8	7
13	Irv Smith Jr					44	710	16.1	7	44	710	16.1	7
14	DeVonta Smith					42	693	16.5	6	42	693	16.5	6

I forgot to mention Waddle who people think is a high quality player as well. What I see here is an offense that is spreading the ball around for the most part with Jeudy as the top receiver. Smiths numbers are still good but maybe not enough to be considered breaking out, that would depend on the break out criteria.

In 2019 Alabama receivers:

13	Jerry Jeudy	1	1	1.0	0	77	1163	15.1	10	78	1164	14.9	10
16	DeVonta Smith					68	1256	18.5	14	68	1256	18.5	1
9	Henry Ruggs III	2	75	37.5	1	40	746	18.7	7	42	821	19.5	8
12	Jaylen Waddle	1	5	5.0	0	33	560	17.0	6	34	565	16.6	

As you can see Smith has more yards and TD than Jeudy does in 2019. So whatever your breakout criteria might be, I would say you at least have to give him credit for breaking out as a 20 year old JR but you seem to be saying he didnt break out until 2020. I don't agree with that idea.

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Thats fine MAC. I wish it were as clear to me why Smith didn't break out sooner. So I could use some help with that. I do think its worth looking at.

From my perspective some very good players have been overlooked by the breakout age analysis that has more problems in my view when it is tied to things like market share. Especially when we are talking about super powered teams like Alabama and Ohio State who have great talents who cannot even scratch playing time.

If folks dont like Smith because of his lack of weight I can understand that. I have that opinion about Hollywood Brown, but if people are dismissing him because of breakout age Im not on board with that. He was very productive period and he is likely going to be a very high draft pick similar to his former team mates, so hes going to be valuable in fantasy but maybe some of you guys know better and you think its foolish for someone like me to think Smith could be a future star in the NFL.

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9 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

Thats fine MAC. I wish it were as clear to me why Smith didn't break out sooner. So I could use some help with that. I do think its worth looking at.

From my perspective some very good players have been overlooked by the breakout age analysis that has more problems in my view when it is tied to things like market share. Especially when we are talking about super powered teams like Alabama and Ohio State who have great talents who cannot even scratch playing time.

If folks dont like Smith because of his lack of weight I can understand that. I have that opinion about Hollywood Brown, but if people are dismissing him because of breakout age Im not on board with that. He was very productive period and he is likely going to be a very high draft pick similar to his former team mates, so hes going to be valuable in fantasy but maybe some of you guys know better and you think its foolish for someone like me to think Smith could be a future star in the NFL.

To be clear, the subject was Smith v Chase. One can prefer the latter and still believe the former could be a future star. This isn't a binary subject. 

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On 1/28/2021 at 7:55 AM, MAC_32 said:

To be clear, the subject was Smith v Chase. One can prefer the latter and still believe the former could be a future star. This isn't a binary subject. 

To your point Chase did have a more productive earlier in his career than Smtih was. There may be other circumstances than just talent that caused that to be. Smiths 2020 season while better than anything Chase has done, he did do it when a year older than Chase was and Smith didnt declare for the draft as a JR like Chase.

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On 1/26/2021 at 7:12 PM, Faust said:

It means he a slower version of Marquise Brown. 

Also, breakout age matters a ton.  Age vs age of competition is a huge factor in most sports where prospects are analyzed.  Baseball for example is much more quantifiable and one of the best ways to tell if a prospect is good is how old he is for his level.  If you're 19 and smashing AAA you are probably a future star.  If you're 26 and smashing AAA you're probably not going to make it.   Football prospects are similar. 

Edited by kittenmittens
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How does the ‘19 Bama WR Corp rank historically from an NFL prospect standpoint? Has there been another group of 4 1st round WR essentially on the starting roster together? 

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3 hours ago, kittenmittens said:

It means he a slower version of Marquise Brown. 

Also, breakout age matters a ton.  Age vs age of competition is a huge factor in most sports where prospects are analyzed.  Baseball for example is much more quantifiable and one of the best ways to tell if a prospect is good is how old he is for his level.  If you're 19 and smashing AAA you are probably a future star.  If you're 26 and smashing AAA you're probably not going to make it.   Football prospects are similar. 

My main contention with this point (and it seems to be a statistically valid one) is that breakout age depends on your share. When, historically, have four guys off of the same squad at the same position been first-rounders? It's natural that his share was down comparatively. That's stiff competition there. Then again, neither Ruggs nor Jeudy lit the NFL up their first years, either, so there might be something to be said for design or system or QB there.

I think your comment above that he's a slower, smaller version of Marquise Brown is much more damning than the analytics behind this particular breakout age.

Edited by rockaction
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I meant that the stat of breakout age seems to work pretty well in weeding out guys much regardless of who you're playing with. Like Dr. Dan had said, it weeds out, which means it doesn't necessarily mean that someone will likely make it at the next level, but we know who likely won't.

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25 minutes ago, rockaction said:

My main contention with this point (and it seems to be a statistically valid one) is that breakout age depends on your share. When, historically, have four guys off of the same squad at the same position been first-rounders? It's natural that his share was down comparatively. That's stiff competition there. Then again, neither Ruggs nor Jeudy lit the NFL up their first years, either, so there might be something to be said for design or system or QB there.

I think your comment above that he's a slower, smaller version of Marquise Brown is much more damning than the analytics behind this particular breakout age.

I'd say that to this point Smith didn't start breaking out like this until after Waddle got hurt.  It looked like Waddle was the guy. 

Also, Smith was eligible last year and I suspect DAB graded him low enough that he came back. 

Edited by kittenmittens
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1 minute ago, kittenmittens said:

I'd say that to this point Smith didn't start breaking out like this until after Waddle got hurt.  It looked like Waddle was the guy. 

All fair points, and like I was getting at, breakout age is a great tool to weed guys out.

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30 minutes ago, rockaction said:

All fair points, and like I was getting at, breakout age is a great tool to weed guys out.

It is, I think it's good for ceiling too but just a piece of information to go along with the rest of a prospect profile. 

I really look at breakout age as a statistical measure of a coaches evaluation.  The only way to play and get targets is if the coaches, who see you and your teammates the most, put you in that position. 

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36 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

I'd say that to this point Smith didn't start breaking out like this until after Waddle got hurt.  It looked like Waddle was the guy. 

Also, Smith was eligible last year and I suspect DAB graded him low enough that he came back. 

Which is also -- not that you have read it -- why earlier in the thread I said his true senior status was a red flag to me. It might not be for others. But that's all I have to go on, are these drips and drabs of data.

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Just now, rockaction said:

Which is also -- not that you have read it -- why earlier in the thread I said his true senior status was a red flag to me. It might not be for others. But that's all I have to go on, are these drips and drabs of data.

Definitely a red flag for sure. A bigger one than anything else really.  It doesn't necessarily mean for sure he didn't get a day 2 grade or better grade last year but it's a strong possibility. 

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Stating the obvious here — it is also a lot harder to “breakout” when you are competing for passing targets with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle.

 

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7 minutes ago, Faust said:

Stating the obvious here — it is also a lot harder to “breakout” when you are competing for passing targets with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle.

 

That was definitely my point about the other three first rounders he was playing with at his position. No doubt.

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Just now, Faust said:

Stating the obvious here — it is also a lot harder to “breakout” when you are competing for passing targets with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle.

 

Very true, because it's based on dominator rating. 

Chase broken out early with Jefferson there though, which is more of a compliment to Chase than a dig on Smith. 

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2 hours ago, rockaction said:

My main contention with this point (and it seems to be a statistically valid one) is that breakout age depends on your share. When, historically, have four guys off of the same squad at the same position been first-rounders? It's natural that his share was down comparatively. That's stiff competition there. Then again, neither Ruggs nor Jeudy lit the NFL up their first years, either, so there might be something to be said for design or system or QB there.

I think your comment above that he's a slower, smaller version of Marquise Brown is much more damning than the analytics behind this particular breakout age.

I think/thought Waddle and Smith are/were better prospects than Jeudy and Ruggs.

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1 hour ago, Faust said:

Stating the obvious here — it is also a lot harder to “breakout” when you are competing for passing targets with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle.

 

And the new OC Sark changed the offense and taught Tua to spread the ball. Devonta really did break out over the reigning Belitnikof winner Jeudy and the others.

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On 1/29/2021 at 6:32 PM, kittenmittens said:

Chase broken out early with Jefferson there though, which is more of a compliment to Chase than a dig on Smith. 

I know it was only one year but Jefferson was head and shoulders better than Jeudy or Ruggs and Chase (a true Soph) was better than Jefferson when they played together.  Unless Chase forgot how to play football sitting out a year he’ll be a WR1 for years to come imo and should be picked as the first WR in rookie drafts.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Per Pro Football Focus, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith's 6.65 yards per route versus man coverage was the best in the country in 2020. 

It's not just that Smith was the best versus man coverage. That much is hardly a surprise given his Heisman campaign. It's the margin at which Smith (6'1/175) leads that is fascinating. The next-best receiver in yards per route run versus man coverage was Florida's Kadarius Toney at just 3.64. Smith was almost twice as good as the next-best receiver in the nation against man coverage, which feels almost inconceivable. It's no wonder Smith is about to go top-15 in the NFL Draft. 

SOURCE: PFF College on Twitter

Feb 27, 2021, 1:32 PM ET

 

 

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On 1/29/2021 at 5:34 PM, kittenmittens said:

I'd say that to this point Smith didn't start breaking out like this until after Waddle got hurt.  It looked like Waddle was the guy.

They played 4 games together, they tied in TD's, Smith caught more passes, Waddle blew him away in yards per catch and Smiths last two games with Waddle he went 13/164/1 and 11/167/2.  How do you see that as him not breaking out until Waddle got hurt?

Also in an unrelated note I just read were Tua refers to Devonta Smith as the "slim reaper". I had no idea, I love it.

 

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13 hours ago, menobrown said:

They played 4 games together, they tied in TD's, Smith caught more passes, Waddle blew him away in yards per catch and Smiths last two games with Waddle he went 13/164/1 and 11/167/2.  How do you see that as him not breaking out until Waddle got hurt?

Also in an unrelated note I just read were Tua refers to Devonta Smith as the "slim reaper". I had no idea, I love it.

 

Look at what Smith did after Waddle was out vs before Waddle was out.  That's all in saying. 

 

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I'm seeing lots of people with Smith rated so high in their rookie ranks that he's more valuable than Jeudy.  I'm not a Jeudy guy fwiw, but I think it's silly to assume Smith is better than Jeudy.  

Smith is 6 months older than Jeudy and still got beat out by him at Alabama.  Then the NFL DAB gives Jeudy a first round grade and tells Smith to return to school.  Alabama knew them best and had Jeudy over Smith the whole time.

Having a massive season isn't impressive when you are old.  Would we be super impressed if Justin Jefferson magically returned to school and tore up the NCAA next year?  No, we would say of course an NFL player is going to dominate college.

Smith also has the body weight red flag. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

DeVonta Smith Compared to Marvin Harrison by Scout Ahead of 2021 NFL Draft

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Coming off a Heisman Trophy win in 2020, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith is being compared to a Pro Football Hall of Famer as he prepares to enter the NFL. 

Per The Athletic's Bob McGinn, one scout said Smith's skill set reminds him of former Indianapolis Colts star Marvin Harrison.

"I don't think I've seen a receiver with his flexibility," one scout told McGinn. "That's why he can change directions so quickly. I don't recall anyone changing direction like this guy. It's just totally amazing. I thought he was a little like Marvin Harrison."

Harrison spent four years at Syracuse before being selected No. 19 overall by the Colts in the 1996 NFL draft. He had eight consecutive years with at least 82 receptions, 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns from 1999-2006 as Peyton Manning's favorite target. 

The physical comparisons between Harrison and Smith are very similar. Neither player is an imposing presence in pads. Harrison measured in right around 6'0" and weighed 181 pounds at the 1996 NFL Scouting Combine. 

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports noted that Smith's 78½" wingspan that was measured in January at the Senior Bowl is "considered above-average" for a wide receiver. 

Smith is expected to weigh in during Alabama's pro day on March 23. The Crimson Tide athletic website lists him at 6'1" and 175 pounds. He had no problems playing against SEC cornerbacks in four years at Alabama. 

The last two years, in particular, showed what Smith is capable of doing. The 22-year-old had 3,112 yards and 37 touchdowns on 185 catches in 26 games since the start of 2019. He became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard in 1991. 

 

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The Athletic's Bruce Feldman predicts DeVonta Smith to be selected by the New England Patriots at pick number 15 in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This is an interesting take from Feldman, as in this scenario Smith (6'1/175) is selected behind Ja'Marr Chase (No. 3 - Miami), Kyle Pitts (No. 6 - Philadelphia) and Jaylen Waddle (No. 11 - NYG). Given the glaring weaknesses in the Patriots receiving corps, you'd have to think they would be sprinting to the podium to select Smith if he is available. This draft spot would represent quite a tumble for Smith, who had been consistently mocked in the top-10 for most of the post-season. Kyle Pitts' meteoric rise could adversely affect Waddle or Smith's draft position.

SOURCE: The Athletic

Mar 14, 2021, 6:23 PM ET

 

 

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Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline writes that Alabama WR Devonta Smith has a "much more complete game" than Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle.

Pauline particularly likes Smith-over-Waddle on the fronts of route-running, reliability of hands and contested catch prowess. That's not to say that the analyst is down on Waddle -- he loves Waddle's game-breaking speed and ability to impact the game as both a receiver and a special teams cog. In his most recent mock draft, Pauline has the Alabama duo swept off the board within a few picks of each other, projecting the Lions to draft Smith at No. 7 and the Giants to draft Waddle at No. 11 in the first round.

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Mar 17, 2021, 1:22 PM ET

 

 

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NBC Sports Edge:

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Alabama WR Devonta Smith does not plan on participating in on-field drills during the program's pro day.

Smith (6'1/170) just doesn't have much to prove at this juncture after turning in a Heisman showing in 2020 via a 117-1856-23 receiving line (that line includes Playoff action). While you won't see Smith running the gauntlet and such come Tuesday's pro day, his sitting out of drills doesn't figure to impact his stock. We already know who he is as a player. The Alabama wideout might not have the game-breaking speed of a Jaylen Waddle, but plays a beautiful, complete game. Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline slots Smith in as his No. 6 overall prospect in the class with the draft just over one month distant. 

SOURCE: Field Yates on Twitter

Mar 22, 2021, 1:21 PM ET

 

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I was looking at some old combine data, and with era adjustments the Alabama WR whose build resembles Marvin Harrison's is actually Jerry Jeudy.

Harrison had a 24.6 BMI at a time when WRs typically entered the NFL with a 25.9 BMI
J Jeudy had a 25.5 BMI at a time when WRs typically entered the NFL with a 26.8 BMI

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ExJIoOVUYAIJv0D?format=png&name=small

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  • Biabreakable changed the title to DeVonta Smith the Slim Reaper

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