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DeVonta Smith the Slim Reaper


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31 minutes ago, cloppbeast said:

How many different metrics are you considering for outlier status? Because everybody is an outlier in some form or another. What you're doing here, essentially choosing a measurement you seem to notice a person has an extreme value compared to their peers and then placing more emphasis on it than normal. 

I'm not saying bmi doesn't matter, but a wide receiver is not just this number. How fast is he? How much separation does he get? How many Heisman's has he won? Don't place more emphasis on one of these numbers just because there is an extreme value.

He's an extreme outlier. An indirect NBA comp I would make is Muggsy Bogues. Playing at 170lbs in the NFL is like playing at 5'3" in the NBA. Smith can still be a star and the primary difference is he can gain more weight over time and probably will. But seriously, even Lululemon doesn't make pants skinny enough for this guy. The whole issue with his weight and BMI goes away if he just hits the squat rack. He looks like someone that could drop and give you 100 pushups without breaking a sweat but skips leg day at the gym. That said, the nickname Slim Reaper is pretty cool.  

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Not a traditional alpha, but yeah, I think Smith will be the technician out there and they will learn to trust him more than anyone else. I actually still like Reagor and think they compliment each ot

I'll admit. I might have misheard him.

1 month of Cheesesteaks and he'll be a nice 195.

50 minutes ago, cloppbeast said:

Two can play this game: Russell Wilson was too short, DK Metcalf's 3 cone drill was too slow, Christian McCaffrey was white.

 

41 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

None of those guys produced like Smith did, though.

I agree, well except for the stupid CMC note. I'm just saying all information matters. If he succeeds I think it's clear why. And if he doesn't the same will be true. Price point according to your own unique risk assessment. 

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17 minutes ago, TwinTurbo said:

He's an extreme outlier. An indirect NBA comp I would make is Muggsy Bogues. Playing at 170lbs in the NFL is like playing at 5'3" in the NBA. Smith can still be a star and the primary difference is he can gain more weight over time and probably will. But seriously, even Lululemon doesn't make pants skinny enough for this guy. The whole issue with his weight and BMI goes away if he just hits the squat rack. He looks like someone that could drop and give you 100 pushups without breaking a sweat but skips leg day at the gym. That said, the nickname Slim Reaper is pretty cool.  

Lance Zierlein comp'd him to Steph Curry - I get what you were trying to do, but if we are going to cross sports I think that is a more apt comparison. 

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30 minutes ago, massraider said:

That's not remotely what's happening. I seem to notice?  

I'm not pulling this weight thing out of thin air.  This isn't my concept.  There's a reason people look at arm length for OT, and 3 cone for EDGE, and breakout age for WR and on and on.  You only need to look at the fantasy rankings in your league.  Go 30 deep.  There's no one lighter than 185.  And those guys are 3 inches shorter than Devonta.  

If and when Devonta succeeds, he WILL be an outlier.  He becomes a top 12 fantasy WR, he'd be the first, since we all started playing this game.  It's more than fair to bring this up.

I'm not trying to argue about what is fair or unfair, just pointing out it's a falacious premise. I have no other way to word it to convince you. But I once rode in a van to Disney World because my wife was scared to die in a plane crash. It is what it is.

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1 hour ago, MAC_32 said:

Lance Zierlein comp'd him to Steph Curry - I get what you were trying to do, but if we are going to cross sports I think that is a more apt comparison. 

Yes Curry would be a more direct physical comparison, but I don't get the comp from an outlier perspective. Curry doesn't represent the physical outlier in the NBA that Smith would represent in the NFL. And even Curry weighs 185-190lbs. I do think Smith can put on the weight with the right trainer and he can be a star like Curry. But playing at 170 or less in the NFL may not end well. Basic physics will eventually apply. 

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22 minutes ago, TwinTurbo said:

Yes Curry would be a more direct physical comparison, but I don't get the comp from an outlier perspective. Curry doesn't represent the physical outlier in the NBA that Smith would represent in the NFL. And even Curry weighs 185-190lbs. I do think Smith can put on the weight with the right trainer and he can be a star like Curry. But playing at 170 or less in the NFL may not end well. Basic physics will eventually apply. 

Curry got moved to point guard to make him more adequate-sized, too. He could easily have been a two with his shooting prowess, but his frame and height dictated he move to the point, which he did with aplomb and massive competence (enough to become an all-time great). Smith has nowhere to move to with his BMI. WR is about as skinny as you can get in the NFL.

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I am surprised the comp we haven't seen anywhere is ro the last WR to win the Heisman, Desmond Howard. He was also quite small at 5'10 184 pounds (thicker than Smith but Desmond played in the era where size was even more stressed). Desmond also refused to workout during the draft process. Howard didn't work out in the NFL as a WR but I think he was just born into the wrong era. NFL teams would know what to do with him now and I think he would be a star in the current NFL. 

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28 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I am surprised the comp we haven't seen anywhere is ro the last WR to win the Heisman, Desmond Howard. He was also quite small at 5'10 184 pounds (thicker than Smith but Desmond played in the era where size was even more stressed). Desmond also refused to workout during the draft process. Howard didn't work out in the NFL as a WR but I think he was just born into the wrong era. NFL teams would know what to do with him now and I think he would be a star in the current NFL. 

They mentioned him in the thread that massraider linked to. Very few people have ever returned kicks like Desmond, but I don't know if his open-field collegiate running abilities translated into the more precision aspect of the professional ranks.

But that's another debate for another day. 5'10, 184 is much, much different than 6'1", sub-170.

The weird thing I've noticed about Smith, and this is where I perk up a bit. Chad Ochocinco and Davante Adams and others have said that his outlier weight really doesn't matter. Ocho has said he played at under his listed weight (which wasn't that great) and Adams chimed in to reiterate that weight wasn't the be-all end-all. It's tough to argue with guys that have actually been in the trenches. I'm still hesitant on Smith. I think he's just so small, that he'd have to be such a serious outlier to justify the draft capital. If you need guys to perform from your rookie draft, the luxury of taking a chance on Pitts or Smith becomes a conundrum. They're both such outliers by either size or position that one is given pause if one can't flub the pick and still be viable. (Of course, this never happens to SP guys, just, you know...)

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Projecting the 2021 NFL draft's top wide receivers: Why DeVonta Smith stands alone

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1. DeVonta Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide

Projected yards/season, first five years: 777
Scouts Inc.: No. 7 overall
Similar historical prospects: Larry Fitzgerald, Torry Holt

Smith has a monster projection that leaves everyone else in this draft class in the dust. Smith's projection is all the more impressive considering that he gets a significant penalty for entering the draft as a senior. Smith is by far Playmaker's highest projected senior wide receiver ever, and it is not even close. That spot had previously belonged to former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans, whose projection was more than 100 yards/season lower than Smith's.

Why is Smith's projection so high? The bottom line is that Smith had eye-popping statistics even though Alabama did not attempt many passes. The Crimson Tide passed only 425 times in 2020, yet Smith managed to record 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. He scored a touchdown once every 19 times that Alabama attempted a pass. Only two drafted wide receiver prospects since 1996 scored touchdowns at a higher rate than Smith -- Randy Moss and Dez Bryant.

However, what makes Smith's numbers arguably more impressive than those of Bryant or Moss is that Smith had to compete with a lot of talented teammates. Moss' most notable receiver colleague was future undrafted free agent Nate Poole. Bryant's was future first-round tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who was considered more of a blocker than a receiver. By contrast, Smith had to compete for targets with fellow first-round prospect Jaylen Waddle. Of course, Waddle played less than half the season due to injury. However, Smith as a junior also had to compete with future first-round picks Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, and Smith outproduced them both.

The conventional argument against Smith is that he is unusually light for a top receiver prospect. Smith weighs in at only 170 pounds. There have been only 14 wide receivers drafted since 1998 who were lighter than Smith, and none of them was a star. However, it is also true that none of those wide receivers was an especially notable prospect and none dominated top competition like Smith did at Alabama.

Smith is a one-of-a-kind prospect who managed to put up elite numbers despite consistently having to compete with other first-round picks for catches. Of course, any prospect can bust for any number of reasons, but Smith is about as solid as they come.

 

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Watching his tape he really does play way more physical than you'd expect a 170 pound WR to play

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18 hours ago, MAC_32 said:

Lance Zierlein comp'd him to Steph Curry - I get what you were trying to do, but if we are going to cross sports I think that is a more apt comparison. 

Steph Curry doesn't get blasted by safeties or linebackers.  The big question for me regarding Smith is whether he will be durable or not.  Can he handle the physicality of the NFL over a long haul?   I think he's the best route runner in the draft and checks all the other boxes.

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10 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Steph Curry doesn't get blasted by safeties or linebackers.  The big question for me regarding Smith is whether he will be durable or not.  Can he handle the physicality of the NFL over a long haul?   I think he's the best route runner in the draft and checks all the other boxes.

The next person that says this gets beaten over the head with Jerry Jeudy...YA GET IT!!!??? :angry:

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1 minute ago, Andy Dufresne said:

The next person that says this gets beaten over the head with Jerry Jeudy...YA GET IT!!!??? :angry:

Well, he is the best route runner that I've seen in this draft :heducksfromjeudythrow  No one has been more critical of Smith than me, but if he stays healthy for most of his NFL career, I see him being very productive.  By the way, the book hasn't been written on Jeudy yet.  If they can improve their QB play and Jeudy can limit his drops, he as well will be very good.

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I'm not any more concerned about him getting injured than I am any other receiver.

I just don't think the game of football is the same in the area of the defensive backfield as it once was. The days of Jack Tatum or Joey Browner or Ronnie Lott "lighting guys up" with regularity just isn't there anymore. 

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14 minutes ago, Soulfly3 said:

if they can't catch him, he can't get hit. 

Doesn't he have good speed, but not great?  Besides, perhaps too much is made of his size, maybe not, I don't know.  He is one of those guys that is analyzed differently by what you see on tape vs history of someone like Smith, which isn't great.  I've backed off my criticism of Smith, because there is a lot to his game I love.  I still have Chase #1, but the margin between Smith and Waddle is close, but I still like Waddle more.  Then you ask, what about Smith and Bateman?  That is where I don't have the answer, for me at least.

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Guy on Twitter pointed something out.

3 WRs are likely to go in top-15 this year. Here are the WRs drafted in top-15 since 2012... Justin Blackmon Michael Floyd Tavon Austin Sammy Watkins Mike Evans OBJ Amari Cooper Kevin White DeVante Parker Corey Coleman Corey Davis Mike Williams John Ross Henry Ruggs Jerry Jeudy

Four guys check the boxes on BMI, Breakout age, and early declare:  Amari, Watkins, OBJ, Evans.  

The only four that have been #1 WRs.  

Ceedee Lamb and Tee Higgins are both younger than Devonta.  

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3 minutes ago, massraider said:

Guy on Twitter pointed something out.

3 WRs are likely to go in top-15 this year. Here are the WRs drafted in top-15 since 2012... Justin Blackmon Michael Floyd Tavon Austin Sammy Watkins Mike Evans OBJ Amari Cooper Kevin White DeVante Parker Corey Coleman Corey Davis Mike Williams John Ross Henry Ruggs Jerry Jeudy

Four guys check the boxes on BMI, Breakout age, and early declare:  Amari, Watkins, OBJ, Evans.  

The only four that have been #1 WRs.  

Ceedee Lamb and Tee Higgins are both younger than Devonta.  

Awesome post.

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27 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

In the modern NFL how often does this really happen? 

It does, but I think the pendulum has swung more towards getting jammed by physical corners, which from an injury perspective is a good thing. Due to defenders getting penalized and fined I think the number of potential hospital balls depend more on scheme and QB decision making/accuracy in today's game (Kittle's week 1 injury immediately comes to mind), but they still exist.

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Just now, MAC_32 said:

It does, but I think the pendulum has swung more towards getting jammed by physical corners, which from an injury perspective is a good thing. Due to defenders getting penalized and fined I think the number of potential hospital balls depend more on scheme and QB decision making/accuracy in today's game (Kittle's week 1 injury immediately comes to mind), but they still exist.

I don't think my point was that big hits NEVER happen. The point is that it's pretty rare and not worth really being the focal point as to whether or not Smith can succeed at this level. 

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18 minutes ago, foxco said:

Leaning towards him with the 1.05 in one league. The weight is a concern but my God he's a technician. 

Wondering, would you take all three backs over him?

If so, would he jump ahead if someone went to a crowded backfield, or an otherwise-less that-great situation?

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I know it reads like I'm running this guy down. It's not that.  The data is available, and it makes me nervous.

 

And I'm nervous because I love his game, and I want to take him.  I think if you are gonna have an outlier, this is what it's gonna look like, right?  An outlier like Lockett. A guy so good, it doesn't matter.  Not Todd freakin' Pinkston.  I'm ready to believe, I want to.  

It's also worth pointing out, LOUDLY, that the players in front of him are not bulletproof.  It's very easy to find people questioning Najee and Javonte on Twitter, who make very good arguments.  

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7 minutes ago, massraider said:

Wondering, would you take all three backs over him?

If so, would he jump ahead if someone went to a crowded backfield, or an otherwise-less that-great situation?

Right now I'm assuming the 3 RBs and Chase are gone. I'd take all 3 backs over him though. If one dropped because of a poor situation I'd have to think about it.

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30 minutes ago, massraider said:

I know it reads like I'm running this guy down. It's not that.  The data is available, and it makes me nervous.

 

And I'm nervous because I love his game, and I want to take him.  I think if you are gonna have an outlier, this is what it's gonna look like, right?  An outlier like Lockett. A guy so good, it doesn't matter.  Not Todd freakin' Pinkston.  I'm ready to believe, I want to.  

It's also worth pointing out, LOUDLY, that the players in front of him are not bulletproof.  It's very easy to find people questioning Najee and Javonte on Twitter, who make very good arguments.  

There are legitimate questions about the ceiling of each of the top 3 backs. With the appropriate draft capital and situation I'm not too worried about them though. None of these guys are Bishop Sankey's. 

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On 4/11/2021 at 9:37 AM, Andy Dufresne said:

I'm not any more concerned about him getting injured than I am any other receiver.

I just don't think the game of football is the same in the area of the defensive backfield as it once was. The days of Jack Tatum or Joey Browner or Ronnie Lott "lighting guys up" with regularity just isn't there anymore. 

I never really saw Browner blow people up with hits like Lott or Atwater did. He had all that martial arts training and would mostly take guys down with his hands using their momentum against them.

Once he has a hand on you were going down. He didnt really blow guys up that much that I remember though.

Still a good point about the rules changing to protect WR more than in the past though.

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I agree with the overall sentiment that collisions don't happen like they once did. That said, DJ Chark got hit so hard in the ribs last year by a defensive back or linebacker that he missed the next week. I mean, he got lit up to where I was genuinely concerned for his well-being. But he was able to get up. Still missed the game. He's also skinny -- nowhere near what Smith is -- and he wasn't the same the rest of the year. I remember him rejecting a Minshew medicine ball like it was a basketball shot. Never seem a teammate do that before to a guy. He swatted it down. People thought he was being a diva, but I think it was self-preservation.

Point is, guys still get hit out there. Very, very hard.

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13 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I agree with the overall sentiment that collisions don't happen like they once did. That said, DJ Chark got hit so hard in the ribs last year by a defensive back or linebacker that he missed the next week. I mean, he got lit up to where I was genuinely concerned for his well-being. But he was able to get up. Still missed the game. He's also skinny -- nowhere near what Smith is -- and he wasn't the same the rest of the year. I remember him rejecting a Minshew medicine ball like it was a basketball shot. Never seem a teammate do that before to a guy. He swatted it down. People thought he was being a diva, but I think it was self-preservation.

Point is, guys still get hit out there. Very, very hard.

Im not sure being skinny leads to increased rib injuries. So many guys have this happen after a hit, even the squatty players.

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2 minutes ago, cloppbeast said:

Im not sure being skinny leads to increased rib injuries. So many guys have this happen after a hit, even the squatty players.

True. Big guys get bruised ribs, too. My point wasn't so much that he was skinny, but that those hits still happen, and if they happen to the wrong guy in the wrong way, he'll miss time.

Not that it should be the biggest issue with Smith, though it factors in. I'm with massraider on this one. It's not determinative. He's got analytic flags that strike me, too, so it's not just weight with him. 

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I'm pretty set in my top 5 RB's in exact order but I struggle with the WR's after Chase. I want to put Waddle ahead of Smith buth Smith's production stops me but then his frame scares the He!! out of me. I feel more confident in WR's 4-6/7 than 2/3

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FMIA: Whispers, Rumors And Gut Feelings As Most Unusual NFL Draft Ever (According To Gil Brandt) Nears

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“DeVonta Smith is one of the best football players I’ve ever seen,” said one GM. “I know he scares teams with his size [170 pounds], but his hands and his presence and how smart he plays . . . I think he’ll have an incredible career.”

 

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29 minutes ago, Faust said:

I've warmed up to Smith since being so critical of his size earlier.  While I still worry about his durability long term, I have him ranked as the 3rd best WR behind Chase and Waddle and tied with Bateman.

Edited by JohnnyU
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1 hour ago, JohnnyU said:

I've warmed up to Smith since being so critical of his size earlier.  While I still worry about his durability long term, I have him ranked as the 3rd best WR behind Chase and Waddle and tied with Bateman.

I still think he's better than Waddle.  I have it Chase, Smith, Waddle, Bateman

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1 minute ago, Foosball God said:

I still think he's better than Waddle.  I have it Chase, Smith, Waddle, Bateman

I can respect that, but Waddle was on his way to having a better year than Smith when he went down.

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5 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

I can respect that, but Waddle was on his way to having a better year than Smith when he went down.

I could easily be wrong here, Waddle certainly passes the measurement test better, but from what I've seen Smith is just the better receiver, I'm not too concerned about his frame.

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17 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

I could easily be wrong here, Waddle certainly passes the measurement test better, but from what I've seen Smith is just the better receiver, I'm not too concerned about his frame.

Waddle brings more as a WR IMO.  He has speed, runs great routes (unlike Ruggs), has great hands.  I see Tyreek Hill when I see Waddle, maybe better.  Smith is definitely the best route runner in this draft and is great separating at the line of scrimmage.  Like I said earlier, I'm not as critical of Smith as I was earlier, while still holding reservations about his long term durability.  That may be nothing for all I know.  Without Waddle's injury Smith doesn't win the Heisman and we all know that.  Not to take away from Smith's accomplishments either, because he was very good year before last when they had Jeudy, Ruggs, and Waddle to compete for targets with.

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5 hours ago, JohnnyU said:

Smith is definitely the best route runner in this draft and is great separating at the line of scrimmage.

My unscientific analysis has Bateman with twice as many mentions as Smith when it comes to route running

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https://twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/1384848417990615043

Quote

NFL teams didn't get athletic testing numbers from the Indy medical combine earlier this month, but they did get measurements. And that meant, finally, they got Alabama WR DeVonta Smith on a scale.

Per sources, the Heisman winner checked in at a 6-foot-0.2 and 166 pounds.

 

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3 minutes ago, Faust said:
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Last year, Smith was the best receiver in college football against press coverage. In fact, his 2020 numbers were the best for any college receiver against press coverage over the past five seasons. (The second-best season in that span was … DeVonta Smith’s 2019 campaign.)

Hmmm...

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Seems his weight is intentional on his part. After four years at Alabama he put on basically no muscle mass. But the guy is not lazy, right? It appears to me he works hard at his craft. So why did he not build muscle in his time at a major college program?

It's been mentioned on this thread how unprecedented is Smith's proportions. A sizeable majority of receivers, I'd argue nearly all, have deformed their bodies to play wide receiver. My theory is Smith disagrees with the conventional wisdom on this. 

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Steve Smith weighed 184 at the combine. Tyreek Hill weighted 185. I'm trying to think of a receiver anywhere remotely close to his weight that made an impact in the league...anyone? Gary Clark from Washington is the closest I can think of, he weighed 175 and was 5-9...

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  • Biabreakable changed the title to DeVonta Smith the Slim Reaper

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