Coming into the 2021 NFL draft, DeVonta Smith was a consensus top 10 pick and arguably the best receiver in the class. And despite many receiver needy teams on the board, Smith fell to No.10 and the Eagles traded up to draft their WR1 of the future. But Smith had another team in mind when he thought who would draft him.
The Philadelphia Eagles traded up 2 spots to No.10 on the board and drafted Alabama wide receiver, DeVonta Smith. However, since the Eagles were initially 12th on the board, Smith probably didn’t peg that he would fall that far.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 30, 2021
DeVonta Smith thought that the Carolina Panthers would draft him
Philadelphia jumped the Giants in the draft order, trading with the Dallas Cowboys to move up two spots and take Smith with the No. 10 overall pick. The Heisman Trophy immediately becomes the most notable target for second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts.
“I thought Carolina was going to draft me. That’s who I thought. I knew of course the Giants, but it was all about, You have to get to 11. I knew if I was there at 11, I was for sure going to the Giants.”
Carolina Panthers were definitely in the WR market, especially since Curtis Samuel departed in Free Agency in 2021. They also opted not to draft a QB with the 8th pick, thus committing to their new addition Sam Darnold for at least 1 season in 2021. And drafting a WR could be great for him to help him in a new system.
— NFL (@NFL) March 18, 2021
The Panthers instead opted to draft South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn as the first defensive player drafted in 2021.
Jaycee Horn was FIRED UP to get drafted by Carolina
Potential DROY?!🤔 pic.twitter.com/6pbiBlF4M8
— PFF (@PFF) May 3, 2021
The Philly Eagles definitely got a huge upgrade in the WR room after drafting Smith. Smith put up historic numbers in 2020 as he became only the 2nd wide receiver ever to win the Heisman Trophy. He set the single-season SEC record for receiving yards with 1,856 yards and receiving touchdowns with 23 touchdowns.
Reminder: DeVonta Smith had one of the best single seasons & career for a WR in college football history…
Smith’s SEC Receiving Records 👇
Career Yds – 3,965
Career TDs – 46
Single-Season Yds – 1,856*
Single-Season TDs – 23*
*Set in 2020 Season pic.twitter.com/R9oEO4szUy
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 21, 2021
The Heisman Trophy winner will join 2020 1st rounder Jalen Reagor in the Eagles wide receiver room for the 2021 season. Many people questioned DeVonta Smith’s small size and whether it would transition into the pros. So it will be very interesting to see which rookie wideout will come out on top in 2021.